A Florida fitness instructor has been named among the state's first pole fitness champions.
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Nicole Landkas, a fifth generation aerial artist, competed in the first annual Florida Pole Fitness Championship in Orlando on March 3, the Sarasota Herald Tribune reports. The Sarasota woman was among 10 finalists vying for the title in the competition's amateur division.
Landkas, who's been performing since age 5, was recently turned on to pole-dancing, the Sun Sentinel observes. She eventually became a fitness instructor at a local pole fitness studio in Sarasota.
The pole fitness champion says she's always had a passion for performing.
"I consider myself fortunate that my passion has not only turned into a successful career, it has also given me the opportunity to travel the world and meet extraordinary people," Landkas states on her website.
Last week's competition featured three categories including amateur, professional and master.
Hsiang Jones clinched the win in professional level, while Rosana Monteiro was named champion of the master division.
It might be Florida's first time holding such a competition, but similar competitions have been around since about 2009.
In 2011, The U.S. Pole Dancing Association held its third annual United States Pole Dancing Championship in New York City.
The date and location for this year's competition have yet to be decided, according to the group's official website.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are also international pole dance championships held in several locations, including the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Although some might be hesitant to take up pole dancing as a sport or a hobby, the exercise has gained popularity in recent years.
HuffPost assistant editor Emma Gray blogged about her first time attending an amateur pole-dancing class in New York. Despite her initial reservations, Gray wrote that the only negative aspect of the workout was the "pole burn."
The Florida Pole Fitness Championship was held at the Heaven Event Center in Orlando and was open to Florida women 18 years and older.
To see some of Landkas' moves prior to the competition, check out the video below.
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