[Eileen Shoals | Pole World News]

The Second Annual PWN Awards took place on May 9, 2015 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion located at the Los Angeles Music Center. “The Journey of an Eclectic Heart” was a spectacular show and awards ceremony designed to be a tribute to pole and aerial artists around the world. As with any PWN event, the extravaganza began with a red carpet ceremony where guests had the opportunity to take pictures and do interviews.

The show opened with the lovely and talented Carolyn Peters reciting a lovely piece:

“Good evening. It takes great courage to be your authentic self, especially in performance. I wanted to share with you a short story that has helped me trust in my own artistry and voice in movement.”

At the end of the 1800’s in Paris, ballet was defined by feats of athleticism, and the dancers’ figures reflected this athletic form. The most athletic of these feats was the 32 fouette in Swan Lake, 32 turns executed en pointe while staying in the same place.

Studying in Paris at that time was a young dancer named Pavlova, who was so thin and frail, she was criticized as sickly, and generally disparaged.

One day her instructor saw her practicing the 32 fouette, and yelled for her to stop.

He said:
You must realize your daintiness and fragility are your greatest assets. You should always do the dancing that brings out your own rare qualities.”

Pavlova soon rose through the ballet, and in the course of her career, her dance style and slender figure became the ideal for all ballet dancers that came after her.

“So tonight as we celebrate the Pavlovas of pole that have all defined movement each in their own voice, may we also celebrate our own personal rare qualities as our greatest assets”-Carolyn Peters

After this incredible introduction, the lovely and talented group Jagged: A Contemporary Pole Dance Company took the stage with an intriguing performance. The show was hosted by the lovely and talented Professional Pole Athletes, Natasha Wang and Nicole ThePole. The evening included several quotes by Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, Nelson Mandela, Lupita Nyong’o, Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo, The Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi and many others. Poems were read by Greta Pontarelli, Rie Katagiri, Jessica Anderson-Gwin, and Venus Manuel to highlight the various aspects of one’s pole and aerial journey. In addition to Natasha Wang and Nicole ThePole, performances by Felipe Mendoza, Pink Puma, Infusion Remax and several other talented studios and duo acts moved spectators.

Throughout the evening, the audience was able to reflect on the entire journey of an aerial and pole artist beginning with self-discovery and the dream being born inside of them…to the inspiration and creativity that comes from having a dream. Despite having a real dream worth fighting for, there are times when an artist faces challenges and has to climb unexpected mountains. Yet, it’s when we face obstacles, that we realize we can overcome these barriers. In this process, we rediscover our truth and often reinvent our craft. So challenges are often necessary parts to a greater good to hone the gift. This evolutionary process causes fulfillment and awareness that the artist’s gift is enough. When you realize that you are enough and that you have what it takes to be in this industry, you can relax in confidence and allow what is, to just be. Hence, the power of self-affirmation throughout the journey.

There were 22 PWN Award Categories.


2015 PWN Awards winners:

The “Up and Coming Artist of the Year” Award – Diana Pardo

The “Revolutionary” (PWN Pick) Award – X Pole US

The “Studio of the Year” Award – Body and Pole

The “Sensual Artistry” Award – Nicole ThePole

The “Representin” Award – Diana Pardo

The “Got Your Back” Award– Bad Kitty

The “International Artist of the Year” Award – Felipe Mendoza

The “Prestigious Honor” (PWN Pick) Award – Greta Pontarelli

The “Hot Legs”Award – Leigh Ann Reilly

The “Wow” Award – Carlie Hunter

The “O.G.” (PWN Pick) Award – Sheila Kelley S Factor

The “Picture Perfect” Award – Pink Puma

The “You Rock” Award – X Pole US

The “Media” (PWN Pick) Award – Late Night with Seth Meyers

The “Choreographer of the Year” Award – Leigh Ann Reilly

The “Showcase of the Year” Award – Australian Pole Championships

The “Special Honor” (PWN Pick) Award – Kym Johnson

The “Gear It Up” Award – Bad Kitty

The “I Love Pole” (PWN Pick) Award – Pole Show LA

The “Inspirational Artist of the Year” Award – Natasha Wang

The “Male Performance Artist of the Year” Award – Felipe Mendoza

The “Female Performance Artist of the Year” Award – Kate Czepulkowski


Congratulations to all of the 2015 winners! If you were not able to attend the Second Annual PWN Awards this year, you are invited to participate in the festivities next year. As a co-founder of PWN, I am confident that next year’s ceremony will be just as fantastic as this year and last year. PWN exists to highlight pole and aerial artists in a positive light. Klaus and I look forward to seeing you at next year’s event! Join us in celebrating you!


Eileen Regina