Pole Fit in Uckfield
An Uckfield woman reveals to Charlotte Pearson how pole dancing is a great way to get fit.
Working up a sweat at the gym is not everyone’s cup of tea, and for those looking for a fun way to keep active pole fitness may just be the answer.
A great way to tone your body you use your upper and core strength to perform a number of moves on a pole.
Having heard others talking about it I was intrigued, so got in touch with Pole Fit Personal Training based in Uckfield.
Louise Stillman (pictured) has been teaching pole fitness for the past two and a half years.
A qualified personal trainer and sports masseur for nearly ten years the move into pole fitness came as quite a surprise.
“I initially heard about it before I got married,” she reveals. “For my hen party my sister arranged for us to do a pole dancing class and I outright refused to do it, luckily she told me before.
“But then a few years later I was at the gym and they had a class on so I took part and loved it.”
Pole fitness combines many different forms, from gymnastics and acrobatics to strength training – it is not all skimpy outfits, high heels and gyrating.
“People seem to think it is all about upper body strength but if you don’t have a strong core there are a lot of moves that are more difficult,” she says. “Anyone can do it. It doesn’t matter about your age, size or shape, it is just a fun workout.”
A mum of two, Louise tells me her confidence has had a massive boost since she started.
So after much talking it is the part I have been waiting for – my turn.
Louise talks me through a number of different moves – step around, chair spin, fireman spin, pirouette, climb and I worked on my core strength for an invert.
All of the moves were more difficult than I was expecting and required a lot of strength to pull my body up, which meant it didn’t happen often, or at all really. I found the climbs very hard, yet the spins I loved.
My favourite was the fireman spin where you walk around the pole, place one leg in front and one behind and spin.
Step by step, Louise went through the moves as I patiently watched trying to understand how she could make her body look so weightless and each move effortless.
Especially the chair spin, where you hold the pole and spin around like you are sat on a chair.
Whereas Louise looked graceful, I just flung myself round hoping I wouldn’t get hurt.
“It can be hard when you first start, but if you keep going and keep building your strength you will get there,” she explains.
The moves are very graceful and not what people might associate with pole dancing, while the fact you can burn up to 500 calories in an hour. is proof it is hard work.
“I try and make my classes fun for people as it can be quite daunting to do,” Louise smiles.
Although I didn’t actually get to flip myself upside down, I was surprised I had enough strength to hold myself in place, even if that was all that happened.
And I know I worked hard as the day after my abs and arms ached from trying to support my body weight on a pole.
It was a lot of fun and I would not only recommend it as a workout but think it would be great for birthday or hen parties.
As well as the studio in Uckfield, Louise has another teacher who takes classes in Haywards Heath, starting with beginner academies which is an eight week course.
Beginners courses cost £70 for eight weeks; £10 per lesson; monthly memberships are also available.
Pole Fit Personal Training,
Unit 3 Riverside,
Belbrook Industrial Estate, Uckfield
For more information, visit
All photos supplied by Louise Stillman