Curvy local mum Anna Ashton will fly the flag for Queenstown at the first Miss Pole Dance New Zealand contest.
The six-foot former stripper is training “flat out” for the comp, staged at Auckland’s Howick Club on October 24.
If she wins through, the pole- dancing instructor from Arthurs Point will go on to the world finals in Europe next year against girls from nine other countries.
“It’s going to be great fun but it’ll also be really tough,” Ashton says. “I’ll be proud to represent Queenstown.”
She admits she’ll be wearing “as little as possible” for her big North Island performance.
But Miss Pole Dance NZ isn’t too raunchy – it’s billed as “strictly a sport and fitness event”.
“It’s very athletic and mainly based on a combination of dance and fitness,” Ashton explains. “You really have to show your endurance and stamina as well as being judged on pole tricks and costume.
“On the night I’ll be wearing a bikini but there’s a practical reason for that.
“Basically, the less you have on the easier it is to stick to the pole.”
Married with a three-year-old daughter, Ashton, 36, settled in Queenstown in 2005 after travelling to and from the resort for a while.
Originally from Hawkes Bay, she spent seven years working as a showgirl at clubs in Canada, Japan and the UK.
“I made a good living out of it and it afforded me a great lifestyle,” she says. “It did get a little bit messy at times but I’ve no regrets.
“It also meant I could buy a house in Queenstown, which is a place I’ve always really wanted to live.”
Ashton teaches yoga and pole classes from a studio at her home.
“I have about 40 women aged from about 20-60 and of all shapes and sizes who like to pole dance to keep fit. They have a great time.”
She’s now having a bigger studio built in the CBD and aims to open before summer.
“I’ve had a few pole- dancing hen nights at my house, which are brilliant,” Ashton says.
“But it isn’t ideal having girls dressed as naughty nurses and the likes wandering about a residential area – I’ll be doing more parties when my new place is up and running as it’s all just a really good laugh.”