By Charly SHELTON
The First Annual Pole World News Awards were held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion last week to celebrate the art and technique of pole and aerial arts. When many hear pole arts, they think of pole dancing, burlesque dancers and nude performers. But it is not all strippers who take to the pole, as this ceremony well illustrates. These men and women who took the stage at the awards show remained fully clothed in beautiful costumes to swing around, up and down the pole in a display of athletic prowess and artistic dance. Pole sports, as emphasized by performers and attendees, are empowering and get a bad rap from the public because of the association with strip clubs. With Pole Sports vying to enter the 2016 Olympics, it is time that we accept it as a legitimate sport and realize that just because poles are in adult clubs doesn’t mean they can’t be classy elsewhere.
Natasha Wang and Derick Pierson took home top honors as Best Performance Artist of the Year for their respective genders, with Carlie Hunter taking Best International Performer and Brynn Route named Best New Artist of the Year. Each category had a fun name to it, including “The O.G. Award” for Best Esteemed Veteran of the Pole Community- Fawnia Dietrich, “The Mz Curves Award” for the Most Curvaceous Body- Phee Manuel, “The Gear It Up Award” for Best Pole and Aerial Apparel of the Year- Bad Kitty Exotic Wear, and “The Bomb Hangout Award” for Best Studio of the Year- Sheila Kelley S Factor, just to name a few.
In addition to the awards being presented, there were some stunning performances by solo acts such as Sarah Romanowsky and Zoraya Judd, as well as group acts from studios BeSpun and S Factor, among others. Poles, silks and rings were placed on stage for the performances, with another pole out in the audience of anxiously awaiting attendees. Tickets ranged from $60 to $1500 to come be a part of this event, sitting either in the peanut gallery in the back or at tables with dinner served. A red carpet entrance preceded the show, entering the renowned Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with photographers snapping away. Twitter lit up with snapping away. Twitter lit up with the #PWNAwards hashtag on attendee’s pictures and tweets, and video posted to YouTube of performances and awards presentations.
Overall, the evening was a success and all seemed to have a good time. To learn more about the art of pole and aerial sports, visit PoleWorldNews.com.