A BRITISH pole dancing champion who died suddenly aged 27 has been described as a “beacon of hope” by heartbroken friends.

Jess Leanne Norris, from Bolton, Lancs, was a two-time winner of Miss Pole Dance UK.

Pals said she had a big influence on the pole dancing industry after setting up her first pole dancing studio at the age of 15.

She won her first Miss Pole Dance UK title in 2011, and claimed the crown for a second time in 2015.

The details of how Ms Norris died have not been revealed.

But last year she launched a fundraising drive in aid of mental health charities.

Kay Penney, the founder of Miss Pole Dance UK, described Miss Norris as a “national treasure”.

She said: “Thank you for your contribution and as a true ambassador for the aerial arts, touching so many lives, hearts and souls, lifting many of us with your entertaining, unforgettable and mesmerising routines.

You shone like a beacon of hope on so many stages and your legacy will live on forever

“Thank you for your unquestionable dedication and sharing your talent through many classes, masterclasses, camps, events and competitions.

“You shone like a beacon of hope on so many stages and your legacy will live on forever in the history of pole and personally as my pole daughter, who constantly showed your gratitude over the years and during your reign as double female singles champion.”

Lee Hill worked with Miss Norris in 2014.

He said: “She was a really bubbly person and she was so passionate about her work. She made an instant impact and her classes were always full of people, she was very popular.

“Jess was very business minded. She was very driven and wanted to keep improving.

“She had a great presence about her and she touched so many lives, she had a massive impact in that industry, not just in Bolton but across the country.

“She had a really natural gift for coaching people, she could be a real task master when it came to training but she always led by example and she never just stood there and ordered people about.

“She did the work with them.”


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