I was a science lecturer, now I’m a pole dancing champion
Quiet at the back
A science lecturer has stripped off her lab coat to be crowned a national champion pole dancer.
Forensic scientist Amy Cowles took up the hobby five years ago and says pole dancing has changed her life.
The self-confessed science geek said the sport gave her the confidence to come out of her shell.
Now the flexible 30-year-old feels at home gyrating around a pole in front of hundreds of people at competitions across the UK.
Last month the lecturer at Keele University scooped first place the Miss Pole Dance UK.
She took the Semi Pro instructor category and has now set her sights on the professional title at the British championships.
Amy, from Abbey Hulton in Stafforshire, said: “I get an amazing buzz from pole dancing.
“I have seen big changes in my life since I started. I am much more confident around people.
“I have never been in as good a shape as I am now. I’m so much more toned than I used to be and feel far healthier.
She has seen a difference socially as well and feels much more confident.
“I was definitely more shy before I started this. I was kind of seen as a bit of a geek because I was doing science, and while I did try to have a social life, I had to work really hard too.”
“I became a lab assistant at Keele University after that, and then did a teaching qualification so I am a teaching fellow there now.
“It’s a complete polar opposite to the pole dancing, but it’s nice to have two completely different jobs because I get different things out of both of them.
“People used to see me as geeky, not that it bothered me, but the pole dancing lets people see me in a different light.”
Amy joined the British Pole Dance Academy and entered Miss Pole Dance UK.
She won the Semi Pro category and picked up the ‘Best Tricks’ award with a gold-digger theme based on Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’.
“There were a few people who used to say ‘oh, I didn’t know you did that’, but mainly it was ‘good for you, doing something you like’.
“It’s so normal now I don’t even think about it. I’m proud to say I pole dance.”
“Amy will attempt to win the Pro Miss Pole Dance UK title in Sussex later this year.
She added: “I don’t have a grand master plan, I just do it because I enjoy it. Just being up on stage is a massive achievement for me.
“Whatever else happens is a bonus.”