[Thomas Manch | Stuff]

“I don’t think she necessarily realizes she’s as good as she is”

An understated queen was crowned at the sell-out Miss Pole Queen New Zealand in Nelson on Saturday night.

Eriko Minezaki, of Auckland, claimed the tiara and title for her crowd-pleasing performance.

The last to take to the pole out of the nine contestants, Minezaki said she was so nervous she couldn’t watch the others perform.

“I think I did okay,” she said.

The nation’s first pole queen began dancing four and a half years ago, and now teaches the performing art.

“I actually left my full-time job to do more training,” she said.

In preparation for the competition, Minezaki sought additional help from her dance teacher to improve her footwork.

“Once I’m up on the pole I can do all the tricks, but once I’m on the floor I can’t do anything,” she said.

As the winner of the inaugural event, Minezaki was awarded a tiara, trophy, professional photo shoot and her own pole.

Event organizer Trina Duffield said the Miss Pole Queen title couldn’t have gone to a “more genuine, sweet person”.

“I don’t think she necessarily realises she’s as good as she is,” she said.

[Read More]