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Pole position for dancing reporter Ellie

Tamworth Herald reporter Ellie Piovesana claimed she was the only one with the balls for the job…
It took some Dutch courage to pull on her stiletto heels and hug the pole in a dance class with a difference – but she told the tale in print this week, and here’s her account.


“Be careful how you write this,” warned my editor.

He never once said ‘be careful you don’t break an ankle’.

For a traditional trackie- and-trainer Tammy (you can take the girl out of Belgrave…) dancing in heels is an even bigger challenge than reverse parking.

But the dress code is ‘skirt and stilettos’, so – for one day only – off come the Adidas.

Like me, the majority of the class have never even set foot in a ‘gentlemen’s club’, never mind learned how to work in one.

Some enjoyed the ladies-only afternoon course so much the first time they’re back at Legs 11 for another go. Two of the girls have been booked in by their husbands as a Christmas present.

But just who is the present for, I wonder?

We meet 20-year-old pole dancer Sam Clarke and dancer Shelley Mumford.

Both are wearing heels the size of skyscrapers. Just looking makes me dizzy.

Everyone is smoking and knocking back wine. Suddenly, lighting up and leaving my car in Birmingham seems like a good idea. But I avoid both.

Half a bottle of Beaujolais never helped anyone’s balance, after all. And men everywhere are constantly proving – alcohol only makes you think you’re God’s gift to the dance floor.

Our first task; the pole. ‘How hard can it be?’, I ask myself without a single snigger or smirk.

Well, unless you’ve got the upper body strength of Wonder Woman, it’s an even bigger challenge than saving the planet. In heels.

Desperately trying to hold my belly in, make eye contact with the audience and resemble Kate Moss in that White Stripes video, I end up looking more like the number 11 bus than a Legs 11 lovely.

Half of me wishes for a mirror so I can see what the hell I’m doing. The other half quickly decides it’s probably best not to look.

On to dance class and: “It’s all about confidence,” Shelley tells us, between puffs on a Marlborough Light. “We’ve got more power over men than they’ll ever know, you’ve just got to remember that.”

OK. Shoulders back, boobies out (no, not literally) we practice walking like a superstar, which isn’t easy after an hour of pole practice.

Shelley teaches us an example of a routine a dancer would perform for a customer.

Nail this series of seductive wiggles, pouts and positions and you can earn £15 for three minutes of your time.

An attractive little figure, I’m sure you’ll agree.

After lunch we play dressing up with the Legs 11 costume rail.

Everything is Lycra and very, very tiny. Not wanting to let it all hang out (or hit the floor), I jazz myself up with cowgirl hat and killer shoes. Yeehaa!

The ice is well and truly broken as we spend the rest of the day practising our routine on each other, bumping heads and laughing them off.

I’m having so much fun, I forget I’m wearing boots that were made for sitting down.

I like to think we all left with something other than sore feet and aching thighs.

A brief insight into the industry, respect for the birds on the poles most high, something to show the boyfriend, or – at the very least – a little extra womanly confidence.

But don’t worry mum, you won’t be seeing me on Trisha’s ‘I’m gonna lap dance, like it or lump it’ show.

We didn’t have to take our clothes off, to have a good time, no no. I simply earned my L-plates, which is good enough for me.

The pole/table dancing course was run by Palladium Promotions who provide private and group pole lessons, hen parties and makeovers.

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