A fifth-generation aerial performer who began training as a circus performer at age 5 took the top spot at the first annual Florida Pole Fitness Championship.

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Nicole Landkas of Sarasota, who won awards for her performances at the International Circus Festival in Monte Carlo, Italy, came in first place in the amateur division of the weekend's pole dancing competition in Orlando, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported.

Landkas said she took up pole dancing in 2005 and is now an instructor in the fitness activity at Apple Jelly Studios in Sarasota.