Pole dancers from Margate took part in an international Guinness world record attempt on Saturday for a cause close to their hearts.
A team of five, led by Zoe Davies and Kris Walker, of Phases Dance and Fitness Studio in Margate High Street, joined more than 100 groups in 21 countries for the challenge.
The girls, including Heather Walker, Violet Prigg and Lindsay Frawley, were also participating as a way of raising money for charity East Kent Unit for Breast Screening (EKUBS).
They were part of the International Pole Sports Federation Pole 4 Life world record attempt in aid of different cancer charities.
Phases’s bid meant the team had to repeat the same well-rehearsed 20-second routine, for seven and a half minutes, to Justin Timberlake’s Lovestoned at 10am precisely on Saturday, simultaneously to others in countries as far-flung as the United States, South Africa and China, as well as across Europe.
Zoe, 36, from Cliffsend, who runs Phases with best friend Kris, 27, from St Peters, said it was “surprisingly humbling” to know they were sharing the experience with so many around the globe.
Guinness has to verify the record by scrutinising submitted videos and is likely to take months to confirm, but Zoe said the previous one appears to have been smashed.
The latest attempt is part of an effort to have pole sports included in the Olympics.
Zoe said most women could relate closely to the need for breast cancer screening, hence Phases’s support for EKUBS.
“I had a breast cancer scare last year and it was absolutely terrifying, the worst two weeks of my life. I thought ‘I have a lump I am going to die’,” said Zoe.
“Most women know someone who has been affected and anyone who would like to donate to EKUBS can do so at Phases where we have a collection box.”
Zoe took up pole dancing two years ago and it has helped turn her life around. In six months she lost three and a half stone and gained a massive confidence boost as well as a new purpose in life. She was encouraged by pal Kris who has represented the UK in pole dancing contests.
They are staging the first Kent pole championships at the Winter Gardens in June and are keen to hear from potential local sponsors.