Former Spalding High School student Laura is gearing up for her latest venture
There are not many challenges that Laura Hudson turns down.
From multiple Tough Mudders to a fundraising mission that saw her cycle across Vietnam and Cambodia last year, to competing twice in TV’s Ninja Warrior UK, she’s a determined lady.
It was this determination that saw her teach herself how to pole dance when she was at university - and she’s now passing on her skills and knowledge to new students to her classes at the Spalding School of Dance.
That’s alongside yet another “crazy challenge” (as she calls them).
This time, she is cycling across Burma, on the Road to Mandalay, in October. It will be in memory of her grandfather David Hudson.
“It has been ten years this summer since we lost my grandfather to PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy),” she explained.
“This is a rare, degenerative brain disease. The cycle ride will be a memorial to him and I thought I would set myself the challenge to raise money for the PSP Association again. It is about 360 kilometres (224 miles).
“You don’t meet many people who know about PSP,” she said.
It was during a 12 hour charity poleathon that Laura burst into tears when one person told her that her boyfriend’s grandad had just passed away from PSP.
“I was crying because I had not heard of anyone else who had it,” she explained.
Laura (29), who lives in Donington, says that her love of pole dancing, which is a “massive fitness craze” at the moment, began when she bought herself a pole while at uni and installed it in her flat.
She said: “I couldn’t actually get to any pole dancing lessons when I was at uni because of lectures so I thought I would give up alcohol for Lent.” (She admits this is quite a big thing for a student).
“I used the money I saved to buy a pole and put it up in my flat.
“I had some friends who knew how to pole dance so they would come round, use the pole and I’d take pictures of them doing it, then teach myself.
“Doing it that way was actually really dangerous and not something I’d recommend to anyone else!”
But by then, Laura was hooked and later went along to a friend’s studio in Nottingham where she put in hours of practice, which led to her taking part in workshops and festivals.
"I couldn’t actually get to any pole dancing lessons when I was at uni because of lectures so I thought I would give up alcohol for Lent. I used the money I saved to buy a pole and put it up in my flat."
Now an instructor herself, she is passing her knowledge and experience on to more people who would like to learn to pole dance.
And she stresses it is all about fitness, helping to improve strength and conditioning, and be fun at the same time.
“I always aim to inspire as many people as I possibly can in life, and hope this is no different,” the former Spalding High School student added.
“Teaching pole has quite honestly been something I’ve wanted to do since I started teaching myself eight years ago.
“I’ve been lucky enough to perform at a variety of events over this time and take part in professional competitions, but I hope this will help push that even further.”
“I always aim to inspire as many people as I possibly can in life, and hope this is no different. Teaching pole has quite honestly been something I’ve wanted to do since I started teaching myself eight years ago."
Laura has launched a six week beginner course at Spalding School of Dance’s new premises in Rangell Gate and also has split level lessons for different abilities, plus practice sessions and splits/flexibility classes (which involves people learning to do the splits).
She said: “Later in the year, I will also be offering Burlesque classes, specific training or pole workshops and hope to organise a few events that will raise money for charity too.”
And that’s in between aiming to enter TV’s Ninja Warrior for the third time - and hoping to conquer the wall this time. She even sports an ankle tattoo with the programme’s logo.
○ For more information on Laura’s classes search for Dragonfly Dance on Facebook or email Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org