Hey, ladies! What if there was a way to get in shape, commune with fellow women, and win a ton of money? You'd be excited, right? And how about if we meant pole dancing?
Dawn Price is a dedicated fitness instructor with ten years of experience teaching everyday women how to pole dance for themselves. This weekend, she'll judge a slew of entertainers vying for the Summer Pole Party Competition's big $15,000 cash prize at Tootsie's Cabaret.
These women are highly-skilled dancers from all kinds of backgrounds, but Price promises the women she teaches at Iron Flower Fitness are just average ladies, young and old, big and small. She says, with the right attitude, any woman can be a pole dancing vixen.
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Ms. Dawn Price is a woman with a lifelong background in dance. That's what first attracted her to the pole fitness industry. She knows a lot of people see pole dancing as dirty, but she's fighting against that attitude, one class at a time. And the nastiest girl isn't necessarily going to get top score.
"It's about a woman's personality. If she's a raunchy kind of girl, that's what's going to come out on stage," Price says. "How do you carry yourself? How do you walk? The way a woman's body curves, not masculine, like a wild animal.
"In this competition, I'm going to be looking for that side, that womanly stuff, not the masculine fastness," she explains. "I like it slow."
Sensuality and movement, ladies.
Difficulty of Moves
Tootsie's is not some rinky-dink club. With poles reaching 25 feet in the air and thousands of dollars at stake, competitors need to break out their best moves to make the cut.
"I'm looking for difficult moves that I can tell, 'Wow, that's hard. She's got a lot of body strength. But she still came out of it looking like she didn't do anything," Price says.
"Make it look easy, and that's a definite plus."
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The next key to becoming a champion pole dancer: grace.
"The fluidity of one pole move to the next," the pro says. "There's a lot of people who can just jump on a pole and do this trick, do that trick. But how do you flow in between each trick?"
In her classes, Price teaches students to let go of stress and distractions. This is the best strategy for attaining that fluidity on the pole.
"It's something that everybody can do, you just have to let yourself go," she insists. "A lot of people come in and they're just so scared and so tense. 'I can't do this. I have no upper-body strength, I can't walk in heels, I'm overweight, I'm not sexy.' They have all these hang-ups, which as women we all do with something about ourselves."
Even if you're not a pole dancer, try to strut with these words in mind.
"Straighten your back, lift your chin, pull your shoulders down, face it, and always appear taller than you really are."
The Wow Factor
Even if you're sensual in your movements, graceful between tricks, and pulling the hardest numbers in the pole-dancing book, there's still that Wow Factor.
"I'm looking for your body type, your sexiness, your eye contact with the audience, just the all-around package," Price explains. "The girl that you can't take your eyes off of because she's so talented."
She encourages every woman who may be curious to come and check out Tootsie's Summer Pole Party Competition this weekend. Expect to be inspired, but don't let yourself get discouraged. No one starts off ready to win $15,000, and you don't get there overnight. But hey, with the right attitude, anything is possible.
"They're going to be doing the top-of-the-line stuff," Price says. "It's definitely something that everyone should witness, because I know there's going to be some craziness going on."
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Summer Pole Party Competition. With a $20,000 in cash prizes. Friday and Saturday, July 25 and 26. Tootsie's Cabaret, 150 NW 183rd St., Miami Gardens. Call 305-651-5822 or visit tootsiescabaret.com.
Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.