After first winning the prize at Miss Pole Dance UK back in 2011, Jess Leanne Norris returned to the stage last month to compete once again for the MPDUK title. Her routine blew away the audience and judges alike, earning her a near-perfect score. (Watch Jess’s winning routine here.) We caught up with Jess to talk inspiration, nemesis moves and training. So first up, tell us about the inspiration for your winning routine? I love The Weeknd so when I downloaded the album and heard the song, I was like, that is the ONE! When listening to the song on repeat is when different ideas were popping into my head, like the light box and luckily I have an amazing friend who is a builder who made it for me.

Photography By Geoff Pegler
Photography By Geoff Pegler
You first won MPDUK a few years ago in 2011, what drew you to compete again for a double title? Since winning in 2011, I always wanted to compete again to retain my title, but it took me a few years to get the bottle to actually do it! How did you celebrate your win? I remember interviewing you after winning for the first time and you said you slept in your crown! Did you wake up this time still wearing your crown, sash and medal? Well we all went to the after party for a few drinks and a dance. But no I didn’t sleep in my crown, sash and medal this time ha!
jln rainbow
Photography by Geoff Pegler
You had a lot of support on the day, did that make a difference to your performance? OMG I was so overwhelmed with all the support I had on the day! It was great seeing everyone together in their ‘Team Jess’ tops. I was actually a bit emotional with how lucky I felt! All their cheering really did help me get through my performance, it made me feel confident. Tell us about your training regime in the run up to MPD. Once I knew I wanted to compete, I started training EVERY day, working on different moves and combos to figure out what I wanted to put in my routine. Then 6 weeks before the day, I started putting the routine together to work on my stamina. The week of the competition I trained my routine twice a day, in the morning then again in the evening.
jln spin
Photography by Geoff Pegler
You are still very young, but have been in the industry a long time now as you started at a young age. How has the industry changed in that time? Pole has changed LOADS since I first started out. I remember that if you could do superman & knee hold you were the bees knees! The kinds of tricks that are coming out now are INSANE (Some are on my never ever list ha!) The style of pole has also changed a lot. There’s a lot more variety in styles of routines and tricks now from sexy to gymnastic which makes pole interesting. You make everything look so easy, but do you have any nemesis moves, or areas of pole that don’t come as easily as others? I’m very much into pretty poses that entail strength or flexibility but not so keen on drops or flips. I freak myself out before even attempting them! Even though I tell my girls to stop being wimps, I’m the biggest wimp around!
jln cocoon
Photography by Geoff Pegler
What’s next for you? And where do you see yourself in ten years? Well there’s no rest for the wicked as my next goal is the World Championships! I enjoyed doing Miss Pole Dance again so I’d like to do a few more competitions next year. So much has already happened in the 7 years I’ve been doing pole that I really don’t know what to expect in the next 10 years. Hopefully I’ll have the studio of my dreams I can settle down into and still be travelling around teaching my workshops.
jln stage
Photography by Geoff Pegler
BEXIITA ACKLAND  

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