Gymnast who has never visited a strip club in her life is crowned Britain’s best POLE DANCER

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A circus performing gymnast who has never visited a strip club in her life has been crowned Britain’s best POLE DANCER.

Pretty Kate Czepulkowski, 23 – known as ‘Bendy Kate’ – took up the controversial sport four years ago and has since bagged numerous awards for her act.

The blonde says she spends hours a day perfecting her moves – which includes the Chopsticks, Gazelle, Spatchcock, Pixie Spin and Reiko Cartwheel Split.

Kate Czepulkowski, 23 - known as 'Bendy Kate' - performs the routine that won her the title of the UK's best pole dancer
Kate Czepulkowski, 23 – known as ‘Bendy Kate’ – performs the routine that won her the title of the UK’s best pole dancer
Kate learned the pole dancing techniques while working as a circus gymnast
Kate learned the pole dancing techniques while working as a circus gymnast
Kate is crowned the UK's best pole dancer as other competitors look on
Kate is crowned the UK’s best pole dancer as other competitors look on

And on Sunday she beat off 30 competitors to scoop top prize at the National Pole Dancing Championships in Telford, Shrops.

Kate stripped off the competition by spinning and sliding her way around the 10ft (3m) stainless steal poles in front of nearly 1,000 people.

She was crowned Elite Champion as well as scooping the title for having the best tricks.

A competitor at the UK National Pole Dancing Championships shows off her athleticism
A competitor at the UK National Pole Dancing Championships shows off her athleticism
The event is an impressive display of strength and technique
The event is an impressive display of strength and technique

But despite a dizzying repertoire of eye-opening moves Kate says she thinks her best asset is her captivating SMILE.

she said: “I was really busy leading up to the competition and so I was having to get up really early to practice the moves.

“In  total I do 15-20 moves during the five minute routine so some of the switches have to be really quick.

“I was so pleased to win this year because although I have won it twice before the competition is really tough as more people enter the sport.

“I think my success is a lot to do with my smile – while I perform I am just smiling the whole time and I think that captivates the audience.

A woman hangs upside down during her routine
A woman hangs upside down during her routine…
...then spins around with her legs in the air
…then spins around with her legs in the air
She finishes by doing the splits
She finishes by doing the splits

“I just aim for my act to entertain everyone and I think by smiling I really connect with those watching.”

Kate, from Harrogate, Yorks., started dancing in 2009 after spotting an advert for a free class at Spin City, a studio in Bristol

She soon became a regular at the centre and was quickly given the nickname ‘Bendy Kate’ by owner Kate Johnstone.

Wanting to shift pole dancing’s sleazy connotations Kate became president of the University of the West of England’s Pole Fitness Society .

Since then she has turned professional – being sponsoring her to compete around the world.

Kate now hopes to be crowned world champion next year and one day hope to perform with the world famous Cirque Du Soleil.

She added: “I have been busy teaching workshops for circus performances and pole dancing so I travel a lot. It’s my full time job now.

“I would really like to be crowned world champion.

“Eventually I would ideally like to join the Cirque Du Soleil – that is my ultimate dream.”

National Pole Dancing Championship organiser Kate Edwards said: “I think pole dancing has really taken off in the UK and women are using it as a fun means of staying fit.

“Men have football teams and other group sports available but for women it is more difficult.”

Audience member Paula Bowen, 30, said: “It’s like Cirque de Soliel meets Olympic gymnastics – there’s nothing seedy about it.

“Kate was a worthy winner – some of the moves she can pull defies physics.”

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