TEENAGER Sophie Vallis has qualified to compete in a national pole dancing competition just one year after first taking up the sport.
The 19-year-old, from Fareham, qualified for the competition despite only turning her hand to pole dancing at Fareham Leisure Centre just over a year ago.
She said: ‘Originally I started pole for fitness reasons but I didn’t realise how good it would be. I went along with my friend and I really enjoyed it. The classes are a lot of fun.
‘A lot of people see pole dancing as something for strippers but it requires a tremendous amount of strength. It is an extremely difficult sport.’
Sophie is now aiming to take her pole-fit career even further.
‘I want to get really good in the future,’ she said.
Sophie is an inspiration to others and shows that you can do anything you set your mind to.Fitness manager at Fareham Leisure Centre, Luke Sweeney
‘I have seen other really good pole dancers and I get so much inspiration from watching them.
‘I’m a fast learner and I picked up pole dancing quite quickly, but I think I can push higher in the future.’
Sophie won her place in the final of the The Heir to the Chrome competition by sending a video to the organisers.
She was shortlisted in the intermediate category and will now compete at The Venue, in Walton High, Milton Keynes, on July 4.
She said: ‘I am nervous for the competition but I have to remember to have fun because this was originally just a hobby for me.
‘I have tried to have a sneak peak at my competition. They all seem very good so it should be a good experience.’
Fitness manager at Fareham Leisure Centre, Luke Sweeney, said: ‘Our pole dancing class has introduced women of all ages and abilities to the fitness benefits of this form of exercise.
‘It’s great to see more women embracing different activities such as this and Sophie is an inspiration to others and shows that you can do anything you set your mind to.’
The pole dancing class is on at Fareham Leisure Centre on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9pm until 10pm.
For more details call 01329 233652 or go to everyoneactive.com.