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Pole dancers show off their aqua-batic skills as they run through their routines underwater.

Professional photographer Brett Stanley, 40, set out to capture the grace of the dancers’ moves when taken out of the context of a strip club.

These underwater pole dancers make an amazing sight

These underwater pole dancers make an amazing sight

The elegant images feature a mixture of amateur pole dancers and novices keen on grappling with the logistical challenges of pole dancing underwater.

Brett, who is based in Los Angeles, says: ‘Whilst working as a professional photographer I had been photographing dancers and aerialists and I started to wonder how beautiful it would look to shoot this underwater.

‘I asked a friend, who is also an amazing aerialist using chains, if she would work with me on a test. Whilst the results were amazing, we did run in to a few problems so it was a massive learning experience.

‘I then expanded the idea to pole dancers, as a way of showing it as a beautiful sport, not just an erotic performance,’ continues Brett.

‘The pole dancers were mostly a mix of amateur performers and private people who loved the idea of the shoot.

‘A few of the dancers couldn’t even swim, so I was really in awe of their dedication.’

It's a feat of endurance and agility

It’s a feat of endurance and agility

The Australia-born photographer has been diving since he was 16 and as he got older he decided to merge his two hobbies together.

‘I wanted to take my cinematic style and see if it would work under the water and it did – I was hooked,’ he adds.

Shot over a few months, Brett worked with the dancers to create the series, teaching them how to hold their breath under the water and collaborating on which poses worked best.

‘I stay under the water as long as the model can,’ explains Brett. ‘We don’t use any breathing apparatus like scuba gear as I find it more cumbersome than just free diving, so we shoot for one breath and then come up and talk about what we need to change or do better.

 A far-from-routine routine

A far-from-routine routine

‘I can hold my breath for over 60 seconds generally, which is usually long enough to get the shots, but I did have three amazing models from Japan who could stay down for three times that long. I tried to keep up and it nearly killed me!

‘A typical shoot lasts around an hour per model, although my record for the longest time spent in the water is 10 hours non-stop.’

To see more of Brett’s incredible photography, visit his website.