Champion pole dancer spices up Zumanity

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Felix Cane has the almond eyes and feline physique of a cheetah, and she’s probably the only woman alive who got into pole dancing because of her mother.

While visiting her daughter in Australia, Cane’s mother decided, out of boredom, to take a free trial pole dancing lesson. She came back raving about how much fun she had. So, Cane signed up for a class, too.

Over the next three years, Cane, who was a studying biochemistry and mathematics at a local “uni,” accrued an impressive collection of awards for her pole dancing prowess, including two Miss Pole Dance Australias and Miss Pole Dance World 2009/2010. When not on the competition circuit, Cane taught pole dancing lessons and worked in Australian strip clubs.

Lucky for Las Vegans, Cirque de Soleil snatched her up in January of this year to join the cast of Zumanity at New York-New York, where she performs a high-octane gravity-defying routine as the character Flash five nights a week.

“I really like my character, she’s quite spicy,” says Cane in a British accent (she was born in London). “She’s a bit of a rock chick; she’s in plaid and leather.”

Executing inverted splits in a thong and six-inch heels is pretty much the antithesis of Cane’s original dance of choice – ballet. Cane, who spent years practicing her jetés and pliés, decided to quit ballet at age 17, because it was “restrictive” and “depressing.”

“There is a lot of pressure to look a certain way. It’s very hard to make it in ballet if you’re not stick skinny.”

But she highly recommends pole dancing.

“Just do it! It’s so much fun and you gain so much confidence in yourself. You feel good; you look good. It’s easy to get into shape, because it’s so much fun. I haven’t met anyone who didn’t enjoy it.”

Cane, who never took her clothes off while dancing in strip clubs, also dispels the commonly held opinion that pole dancing is slutty.

Miss Pole Dance Australia 2008 - from

“People automatically assume that they know what pole dancing is before they have experienced and watched it,” says Cane. “Pole dancing originated in strip clubs, and it’s a sort of sensual dance, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. There are many types of dance that are very sensual – tango, rumba, salsa – and they are very sexy and they don’t try to be anything else. So, I don’t pretend that pole dancing is not sexy and sensual, but it doesn’t have to be vulgar.”

Now that the best pole dancer in the world is a member of an internationally celebrated acrobatic circus troupe, Cane is having a blast as the sexy, flexible Flash and a newly initiated Vegas denizen. Her mother, we assume, is very proud.


Jennifer Grafiada

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