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Pole dancer hoping to slay CBC’s dragons

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A Winnipeg entrepreneur is hoping to slay some dragons in front of a national TV audience.


Carolyne Braid, founder and president of PoleFit Canada, will be featured on the CBC show Dragon’s Den that will be broadcast on Wed., Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. (CST) on CBC.


On the show, contestants pitch their ideas to a robust, straight-shooting panel of business moguls and aim to strike an investment deal in exchange for a stake in his or her business.


Braid, who lives in Crescentwood, was selected for the show in March 2011 and flew to Toronto for taping two months later, accompanied by dancer Ashley Dugdale.


And while Braid is contract-bound and sworn to secrecy about the outcome of her appearance in the fire-breathing panel, she has hardly rested on her heels for the past few months.


Braid has been busy setting up the opening of her first permanent pole dancing location on Portage Avenue in St. James, which recently opened for business. The boutique fitness facility offers various classes and has a clientele ranging from high school students to ladies looking to prepare for a girls’ night out.


"We’re so excited to have opened our first location," said Braid, who also vice-president of the Women’s Business Owners of Manitoba.


"Our clients recognize this a place where they can explore their inner beauty and build their outer strength. Years of work, and a lot of planning, have finally brought us to this place."


And much like building her business layer by layer, Braid said entrepreneurs that appear on Dragon’s Den have to "pass many hurdles beyond a creative idea."


"First local auditions, then go for before the dragons, then you wait and see it on-air, then watch how they edited the segment and then finally reap the benefit of national exposure," Braid said.


And regarding her brush with TV stardom, Braid said it was an interesting experience in the den.


"I’m happy to say that I came out alive. Some of the dragons were very business-focused and direct with their questions. Others took a different approach, and some of my reactions were interesting to say the least," she said.


Braid was joined on the show by pole dancer Ashley Dugdale. The Fort Richmond resident, without music, performed a series of moves for the judges designed more to "showcase strength more than dance."


Dugdale said the walk during filming to face the five judges was a nerve-wracking experience. "My heart was beating so fast," she said, adding the experience turned out to be a lot of fun.


She noted that dragon Robert Herjavec was enjoying himself the most, while Arlene Dickinson was sweet and sympathetic and Kevin O’Leary was straight to the point, but cracked a few jokes.


For more information on PoleFit Canada, visit www.polefitcanada.ca.

simon.fuller@canstarnews.com

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