A Milnerton pole-dancing instructor and her partner are the only two people from Cape Town who will be competing at the upcoming World Pole Championships (WPC) in Canada next month.
Chantal Nell, a pole-and-aerial-dance instructor, and Jaun van Deventer, from Goodwood, qualified to take part in the Hoop Elite Division of the WPC taking place from Thursday October 3 to Sunday October 6, in Montreal.
The aerial hoop is a circular steel apparatus suspended from the ceiling, on which athletes perform different manoeuvres.
Last year the International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF), which is home to the WPC, added the aerial hoop as another category, and Ms Nell qualified for it.
Ms Nell owns a pole-dance studio in Loop Street and boasts a circus background.
She was part of the Zip Zap Circus from the age of 9 until she was 16.
Later she toured the world with Cirque Du Soleil as part of a triple trapeze.
Mr Van Deventer, on the flip side, started pole dancing classes a few years ago to keep fit.
He runs a salon in Table View and said he had taken great strides in the world of pole dancing under Ms Nell’s influence.
“You’re more motivated when you have a partner. You have to rock up,” he said.
The pair took first place at the national pole championships in Johannesburg in April and are placed first in the world with qualifiers and hold a new world record of 31.8 points.
They are now fund-raising to get to the championships.
They fly on Sunday September 29 to give their bodies time to acclimatise before competing.
“Funding for most sports here in South Africa is usually done by the athletes themselves, which is why we need help to try and find sponsors and donations,” said Ms Nell.
A funding page on Back-a-buddy has been set up for the pair with a target of R80 000 to cover, among other expenses, flights, accommodation, costumes and physiotherapy and rehabilitation treatments. So far they have raised just over R25 000.
If you would like to support Ms Nell and Mr Van Deventer or more information visit: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/chantal-and-jaun or contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org