This year’s Miss Exotic Oregon, formally known as Annie, decided to sit down and share with The Advocate what it takes to win such a title. Besides baring it all and exposing yourself to criticism, a double dose of elbow grease and competitive drive are in order.
Annie is from northern California, but she currently lives outside of Portland where she has been dancing for over five years.
“Basically I am a performer, I do burlesque,” she said. She also strips; a skill that aided in her comfort and performance on stage.
“I had so many nerves during that day,” Annie told me when asked about competing to become Miss Exotic Oregon 2018, a title given out by Portland based Exotic Magazine. Annie had competed before in 2015, but for this year’s competition, she went the extra mile and trained extensively.
“I constantly practiced,” she said, “I did have help creating the show with my mentor from the Laboosh Studios, and I practiced a lot. Once a week, twice a week, the routine, how I was going to do it. Listen to the songs.”
Annie said that whenever she was in the car, or had a spare moment, she would listen to her music and visualize the routine. Finally, all that hard work paid off when Annie won the title.
Annie fell in love after just one competition and has been hooked ever since. “After my first competition, I won second, and I loved it. I loved competing,” she explained. “It makes you more driven. You have to be really focused on the shows.”
For this year’s competition, to make it into the finals, dancers had to win a preliminary round. A total of 17 girls competed towards the end of 2017 for the title at Dante’s in Portland. “It’s nerve wracking, but pretty fun,” Annie said when describing the competition.
Next year, Annie will be judging other dancing competitions in Oregon. Her first assignment was to be a judge for “Pirates of the CariBooty” in Portland. When asked what it means to be exotic, she paused for a moment then responded, “Hard work, determination, poise, gracefulness, and all around a good-show person. I think that’s what exotic is.”
By Ashley Rammelsberg