One of the biggest fitness expos in the country, the NEC’s BodyPower show, is a grandstand in taking fitness to its boundaries. Guests included Delvin Clark (aka Mr Charisma) of Vibe Cycle, the BSN team, Mr Universe Neale Cranwell (2009) amongst bodybuilding legends Lee Priest and Jay Cutler. Pole dancers, gymnasts, kick boxers and bodybuilders were just an assortment of fitness fanatics showing their dedication and training. Represented team Karla Hardy, Yaz Niblett, Emily Fisher, Jen King and Rebecca Plume, presented a showcase of pole fitness moves. Performing on podium stages, the team drew a crowd at each turn.
The BodyPower is an exhibition of different types of disciplines – with the emphasis that each form of training requires strength and dedication. In terms of pole dance, Jo gave a short talk on why pole dancers wear their trade mark skimpy clothes (the better to grip with, my dear), and invited audience members to not merely watch (the better to ogle you with, my dear) but participate.
The troupe shared the floor in the Fitness Zone with Vibe Cycle and various groups that included martial arts, spin and hi/lo impact exercise regimes. The team performed moves in a continual stream of aerial moves, punctuated with floor work and spins, whilst the other fitness groups demo-ed their wares.
Claire Harper, fitness model and pole dancer, also had a stand with her company Smart Shakes. Claire, who has been continually placed in various Miss Figure Competitions (BNBF and NPA federations) is an accomplished dancer in aerial, hoop, pole and burlesque, whilst other competitors included Neale Cranwell of Krunch Gym, who won his class in the under 90kg.
This year’s BodyPower Expo was all in all a success – the expo exceeded its mass capacity by 10,000, and next year it’s predicted to be even more – especially with the anticipation of the Olympics. So let’s hope this is just the beginning in introducing pole fitness to a mass audience and bringing the art of pole into the mainstream, along with bodybuilding and other fitness ventures.