Pole dancing - the latest way to keep fit!

Wellington: Pole dancing is no more restricted to strip clubs and bars - it is fast becoming recognised as a legitimate sport.

The first Central Pole Dancing Championships are currently going on in Wellington.

Melissa Dodson, 38, said she came from a yoga and Pilates background, and started pole dancing two years ago as an interesting way of staying healthy.

"Anything but the gym," Stuff.co.nz quoted her as saying.

"It`s a real challenge for women in terms of their upper body strength, it`s quite unique," she said, while practising moves including the superman and fireman`s spin," she added.

Competitive pole dancing was a sleaze-free zone, she said.