Who says you need both arms to pole dance? Australian Deborah Roach out-maneuvered her competitors to win first place in her division at last week's International Pole Championship in Hong Kong. The only difference? She has one arm! 


Before you get any ideas, these championships focus on "pole art," which emphasizes the fitness and creativity components of pole routines, not the pole dancing you would see at strip clubs.

In a interview with the Telegraph, Roach felt like she didn't belong in "normal" society and sought refuge dancing in the underground Goth scene as a teen, ultimately getting into stage dancing in clubs. In 2006, the paper reported, she was inspired by a act from a circus and decided to take up pole dancing and aerial acrobatics.

She worked in information technology until she won a general pole competition, beating dancers with two arms and more experience. At age 28, she got her first prosthetic and learned to ride a bike.

I have always loved dancing but as a child and teen with low self esteem I believed that aesthetic and athletic pursuits were not for me, not for my 'different' body... Luckily as an adult, I learned to challenge my assumptions.