Meet the UK’s best pole dancer (and she has an honours degree)

September 8, 2012 | by | 0 Comments

She’s wearing a skimpy red bikini covered in sequins, has long blonde hair and a figure to die for. As Kate spins effortlessly around the metal pole, she oozes sex appeal.

One moment she is upside down doing the splits, the next she has pushed herself away with her hands and is holding on with both feet off the ground.

Kate, or ‘Bendy Kate’ as she is affectionately known, is everything you would expect of a pole dancer.

She was even named the UK’s best professional pole dancer, although she has never been to a lap dancing club in her life.

'Bendy' Kate Czepulkowski, 21, champion pole dancer, at Spin City studio in Bristol

'Bendy' Kate Czepulkowski, 21, champion pole dancer, at Spin City studio in Bristol

“Often people say I should go to the clubs because I could make loads of money, but why would I want to do that?”

Kate, 21, goes on to explain how she has not only managed to become a professional pole dancer but has also bagged herself a first class honours degree from the University of the West of England.

“I’m a natural perfectionist. I work really hard in every aspect of my life. Pole dancing has never been a distraction, if anything it helps me to focus.’

Kate, who has porcelain skin and is wearing just a flick of eye-liner also represents X-Pole, which is a UK-based manufacturer of poles for pole dancing.

“They gave me my big break and now I model for their poles and they sponsor me and send me to competitions all over the world.”

The bubbly graduate lives in upmarket Clifton with two of her girlfriends.

'Bendy' Kate Czepulkowski, 21, champion pole dancer, at Spin City studio in Bristol. 20 Jan 2012

“We met at uni where we played hockey together. We all loved a drink but didn’t go mad. More often than not I was fun enough with being drunk, the girls would always persuade me to do tricks on the dancefloor. The splits and the plank were firm favourites.”

Kate nearly never got to try pole dancing, but fell upon her hidden talent when trying a taster class as a student.

“I was a gymnast when I was a little girl so I thought it would be fun to take something like that up again.” she recalls.

Being a naturally active person, Kate took to the pole like a duck to water.

“I actually went alone because my flatmates thought it would be seedy. I loved it immediately, probably because I was good at it,” she says.

That was about two years ago, when Kate was in the second year of her degree.

Now she has graduated and intends to become a Sports therapist when the dancing dries up.

“There is so much I want to do and I’m fiercely driven but equally I am realistic and know I need a backup plan.”

'Bendy' Kate Czepulkowski, 21, champion pole dancer, at Spin City studio in Bristol


The rare combination of brains and beauty means Kate is undeniably a catch – but she hasn’t got a boyfriend.

“I don’t have time!” she laughs. “In fact I haven’t had a boyfriend since I started competing; I’m not in any rush.”

As well as juggling a social life and her studies, Kate is also president of the university Pole Fitness Society, won the Miss Pole Dance UK competition and came second in the world pairs pole dancing competition with Spin City owner Kate Johnstone.

She now combines professional pole dancing with performing as an acrobat with the Bristol-based circus Thumbelina Productions, with which she has toured in Malaysia, the Philippines, Morocco and Turkey.

“It sounds dramatic, but pole dancing really has changed my life. I can be myself,” says Kate, who will be going to Switzerland in March to represent the UK in the International Championships.

“I think that attitudes will change. People just need to be more aware of the skill that it involves.”

As she jumps around in Britney-esque nude underwear embellished in roses and diamante, she defends her revealing outfit.

“Bare skin is very important in pole dancing as you have to stick to the pole for some moves.

“That’s why pole dancers always have their midriffs showing and are covered in bruises!”

In her regular clothes she looks like a normal girl who shops on the high street and hangs out in coffee shops.

“I love going out for meals and a few social drinks with my mates if I can find the time. I’m very normal, apart from that I’ve got a pole in my bedroom. My flatmate loves it, she wants me to move it into the sitting room,” she says.

Kate Czepulkowski is keen to promote pole dancing as an effective way of improving fitness.

“Before I discovered pole I was doing all sorts of sport, a lot of hockey, netball, cycling, and running when I could be bothered” she says.

“I’m so much fitter now I’m training on the pole. In fact, I’m stronger and I’m more flexible than when I was a gymnast.

“I used to be really skinny but now I have muscle definition.”

Kate, whose parents are both GPs, was brought up in South Yorkshire.

Her father was very musical and her mother was a trampoline champion.

“My ability to choreograph comes from my dad, and my athleticism comes from my mum,” she says.

“Some family members question why I’m so serious about what I do, but my parents love it and they are so proud of me. In fact the only downside of pole dancing is my hands,” – she says holding them out in front of her. “They are covered in blisters and feel like leather!”

Category: Life

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