A university science lecturer has proved you can have both brains and brawn - after scooping a Miss Pole Dance UK prize.
Amy Cowles is so talented at the notoriously-hard activity that she was crowned winner of the semi-pro instructor category at the competitions last month - despite juggling her hobby with teaching at Keele University.
The 30-year-old from Staffordshire says she is much more confident around people since she started pole dancing.
Can't wait till this is flat - neatly! pic.twitter.com/NtBmv5IE— Amy Cowles (@AmyCowles) January 9, 2013
"And then mentally it is really positive too. Socially I have seen a difference," she told the Mail Online.
"I am far more outgoing now than I used to be, both because of the physical aspects of it but also from all the friends I have made there. It's like a second home.
Downward splits! Flexibility is improving :) pic.twitter.com/mrIziN54— Amy Cowles (@AmyCowles) August 20, 2012
"I was definitely more shy before I started this. I was kind of seen as a bit of a geek because I was doing science, and while I did try to have a social life, I had to work really hard too."
Cowles now also teaches pole dancing, and hopes to win the overall professional Miss Pole Dance UK competition in October.
"It's so normal now I don't even think about it," she added. "I'm proud I pole dance and proud to say I pole dance."Suggest a correction