The moment we met Aja Marie we knew we wanted her to be on the Xcitement cover. Now, several years later the time is right as Aja has not only begun to travel as a feature entertainer but has also received two nominations from Exotic Dancer’s annual awards – Newcomer Feature Entertainer of the Year and MissExoticDancer.com 2018. We take our August issue to the Exotic Dancer Gentlemen’s Club Expo so the timing is perfect for Aja’s cover!
We met you through Penthouse so let’s start there. How did you come to be in Penthouse?
I’ve been working for the PENTHOUSE company for many years. During these years I was modeling and training to be a showgirl. I asked my manager to send my portfolio to the magazine. They loved my photos and booked me for my first shoot that week.
Your layout was entitled “Welcome to the Jungle.” The photos were done in Costa Rica. It’s a beautiful layout. Tell us about the experience.
My experience in Costa Rica was incredible, I was surrounded by so many beautiful women on the shoot. We went to the most exotic locations. Being in a jungle like setting means, you can’t be afraid of the wild. There were spiders I’ve never seen in my life, but that didn’t stop me.
Do you enjoy the great outdoors. Are you a nature lover?
I enjoyed seeing new beaches and tropical jungles. I am adventurous and love nature.
The Penthouse issue says you “Surf, skate, wakeboard, skateboard, snowboard, play soccer, model.” Obviously you are quite active and enjoy physical activity.
One thing I truly love is being active. Playing any sport, climbing any mountain, riding any wave, is what I call fun.
Living in Louisiana there wouldn’t be an opportunity to surf or snowboard so you must have travelled some. Where did you learn to surf?
I spent manny years in Florida, and was inseparable from the ocean. That’s where I learned to surf and skate. I spent 2 years in Alaska, and snowboarding was the closest thing to surfing. My friends there pranked me and took me down a black diamond, on my first day. Let’s just say I’m lucky to be alive.
At the time we met, you were dancing at the New Orleans Penthouse Club. Are you still with the Penthouse Clubs? Where?
I will always be a PENTHOUSE key girl. I’m extremely loyal to PENTHOUSE company because it is the best club chain I’ve worked for. I spend most of my nights in Louisiana at THE PENTHOUSE CLUB in Baton Rouge. That is where I practice and train for all of my shows.
Your Penthouse issue says that you were a seven time pole champ. Let’s talk a bit about pole dancing. First tell us about pole dancing as a means of expression.
For me pole is an art, and I love how it’s a combination of ballet, figure skating, gymnastics, acrobatics, and my own personal touch of dance. It feels incredible to captivate an entire room, and have them witness the passion I put into my work.
Who taught you pole dancing? How did you learn your skills?
I had no one to teach me pole dancing, so I learned by watching other dancers perform. Because I learned independently many of my dance moves are unique. I perfect my skill, every night I work. While I’m not at work I study dance videos.
What were the pole dance competitions that you won?
Club Cheaters of Cocoa Beach pole competition, Florida 2x Bare Assets pole competition, Florida, PENTHOUSE of Tampa pole competition, Florida. Miss Southern Bell pole competition, South Carolina, Strip 10 pole competition, South Carolina 6x pole champion.
At the EDI East you performed on the aerial hoops. Contrast that skill to those on the pole.
Although it’s not my primary expertise, I enjoy aerial hoops. I feel as though they are easier than pole dancing, only because you can sit, stand or hang on it. Pole is a little more difficult because there is nothing to stand or sit on.
You added fire to the aerial hoops! Tell us about that.
I first started the fire hoop in 2012. I used fire toys a lot, so I was comfortable with stepping outside of the box. My fire technician in Alaska is the genius who came up with the concept and design for the attachments.
Your show at the EDI had a jungle theme complete with makeup! Describe the show.
I named the show “Wild Wolf Show.” This was an incredibly special show for me. Instead of researching choreography, I just did what I felt in the music. I studied the music and listened to every beat, and I let the choreography come naturally. The entire show was a representation of everything I’ve learned over the years. I wanted to take a risk with the makeup, in order to make the show come alive. I wanted the audience to feel like they were in the wild. I also added sound effects to my music to enhance the experience and emotion in the show.
Most people don’t realize the time, expense and effort that goes into creating a show and performing, so please tell our readers all about it.
You have to really love dancing and performing to be a showgirl. It takes complete dedication, pain, sweat, and tears. My shows generally cost me an arm and a leg to design. On top of designing a show, comes the endless hours of studying the music and choreography. Next comes the pain and fatigue, from practicing over and over. Not to mention working to pay for bills and put food on the table. Finally the breaking point, this is the moment you realize how consuming a single show can be. That moment will make or break you. When you’re on your last dollar but you have to buy rhinestones. When you have 3 pulled muscles but you have to execute your choreography. Or the worst one, when something tragic happens, but you have to put on a smile because the show must go on. I’m sure many showgirls can relate. Life happens, but not giving up has only made me stronger.
How did you come to be a dancer?
When the first Obama election happened I lost 3 of my 4, part time jobs. Yes, I had 4 jobs at one time. I knew I had to get a new job and quick. I put in 50 applications even to fast food places. I had no luck finding a job, so I tried serving at a gentleman’s club. I only made $2.00 on my first day. I saw dancers in a side area, laughing with a heap of money on the table. They had their feet resting on ottomans, relaxing while counting all the money. I said to myself here is the solution, that will keep me from being evicted.
What was it like the first time on stage?
My first time on stage is a hilarious story. I started at Lido’s On The Beach, in Cocoa Beach, Florida. I picked this club randomly, as I was driving down A1A. I was in the dressing room getting ready, and there was a doorway with a curtain. The Dj said over the mic, “Aja, to the stage”. I panicked and started to turn back, but next thing I knew two girls were coaxing me up the steps. I was clinging on to the door frame and tried to resist, but I pulled my big girl panties up and just let go. I stumbled onto stage late, and just started dancing the only way I knew how. The typical crazy, fast, no rhythm, new girl type of dancing. To my surprise, the crowd went wild throwing ones.
Tell us about dancing, why you do it, why you enjoy dancing, etc.
I always wanted to be a ballerina, but my parents wanted me to be an outdoors athlete. I dance because I have a passion for dancing. I love when people smile as I perform. Even though I’ve had no lessons in dance, I dance to the beat of my own drum and people enjoy it.
Now as a feature entertainer you get to travel. What’s it like being on the road?
Traveling is what I enjoy the most about my job. I like meeting new people, and seeing new places. When I’m driving, I’m usually singing like I’m auditioning for American idol. Although I probably sound terrible, it makes the ride fun. When I’m flying, I’m usually bundled up getting my beauty sleep.
What are your shows and costumes?
My top shows are 1)Geisha show – I wear a short pink kimono, that is covered in 2,000 rhinestones. It sparkles under the lights. 2) Pirate show – I wear a white and gold, fancy pirate costume. I have a sparkly sword, rope to swing on, and a cannon that blows smoke rings! 3) Dominatrix show – I wear patent leather, and the show is filled with chains and whips. It even has a custom made Love swing wrapped in leather. 4) Fire Gypsy show – I wear a black gypsy costume, with coins dangling from it. I perform with different fire equipment for 3 songs. It’s the most action packed! 5) Wild Wolf show – My newest show, that I performed at EDI East. It’s a furry wolf costume that will scare and seduce you, at the same time.
Compare house dancing to feature dancing.
House dancing is a cake walk, because I have regulars, comfortability, and friends. Featuring is like running a full time business. I have to promo, organize contracts, keep track of expenses, taxes, and income. I also have to rehearse and travel a lot.
Tell us about competing. What drives you compete.
The only reason why I competed was to get closer to my goal, of performing on the big stage at Expo. I want to complete that goal before I retire. On the flip side, I don’t like competing. I just like dancing my heart out, without all of the pressure, stress, and judgement. I just love what I do, especially when its stress free. The positive thing about competing is that I’ve learned so many new things, and have met so many talented women. I wouldn’t be the Aja Marie I am today, without the learning experience that came with competing.
At Expo last summer you won the bikini competition that had over 100 contestants. Tell us about that.
That was an unforgettable moment in my life. I trained for 3 months, and was dedicated to the gym 5 days a week. I would spend 3-4 hours working out, to sculpt the perfect balance of curves and muscle tone. I spent many days in pain, but was so determined to build my figure. Meanwhile, fighting through a string of unfortunate events, that tested my patience in life. It drove me to train harder, and my mindset was to do the absolute best I could do. When they announced me as the winner, it was like I froze and my ears became deaf. All of the unfortunate things that took place, before that moment, flashed through my mind. It was enough to leave me breathless, and as i opened my eyes all I could hear was cheering. After all I’d been through in a split second everything changed for the better. I will always be thankful for that moment, and Platinum 84 for having the event, PENTHOUSE for sponsoring me to participate, and the judges for choosing me.
Now for some short questions about you and your life. What is your ethnicity?
I am Mexican and Chinese. My mother is Swedish and Chinese, and my father is Mexican and Chinese. So I’m basically a melting pot.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
The first thing I do when I wake up is run through my mental list of things that must be done for the day, and what time and order I’ll be able to accomplish them.
What’s for breakfast?
I love making breakfast! Eggs Benedict, Biscuits and gravy, French crepes, potato skillet. You name it I’ll make it.
Do you have an exercise, workout routine? Do you go to the gym?
The only time I work out is, if I have a bikini competition or a modeling event. My upper body is so bulky from performing pole dancing, so I try to avoid any exercises that target upper body. With that being said, it’s 5 days straight in the gym. Day one legs and glutes, Day 2 core, and I keep alternating those two until I get the results I want.
How much time do you spend on social media?
I should spend more time on social media, but my life is so demanding sometimes I neglect my social media. I’m not an addict who has to check it every minute, but that could also be a downfall in running a business that is on social media.
What social media platforms do you use? and what are they?
I use FaceBook and Instagram, but I’m primarily on FaceBook. It’s so lucky I have time to keep up with one, let alone two social media programs. Aja Marie Feature on Facebook and Instagram.
Dress up or casual? sneakers or heels?
I love to play dress up at work, so when I’m not at work I’m usually casual. I love wearing workout clothes, because they’re quick to throw on and comfortable when I’m so busy. I usually wear flat shoes, because I’m always on the go.
My favorite color is blue, it’s been my favorite color since I could remember.
What’s your birth sign? Into astrology?
My birth sign is Virgo, and yeah I’m entertained by astrology but I don’t read too deep into it. Everything I have read about my sign is surprisingly spot on.
Ever since I could remember, my favorite thing to eat is olives. Kalamata olives are my favorite kind. I love cheese plates, steaks, and desserts.
Dine out or eat in?
I like dining out, because it gives me a chance to try new dishes and flavor combinations. I’m a huge food critic, and have tried many styles of cooking. From 2 Michelin star ( I haven’t had a 3 star yet ), to delicious little mom and pop diners.
Do you cook?
I love, LOVE cooking! I grew up as the baker, and my sister was the cook. I was always perfecting cakes and sweets. So when I started cooking, I was always trying to give my dishes the best presentation.
Taste in music?
I have a wide range of music in my playlist. Because my job plays such a wide range of music, I’ve learned to appreciate all types of music. One of my favorite songs is, No one like you – by Scorpions.
Do you watch TV?
I’m always busy, so I never get to sit down and watch T.V.. My T.V. Collects dust, and is just a decoration in the living room.
Best movie you saw recently?
I never get enough time to watch movies, but I saw, “I, Tonya”, recently and it was entertaining to me.
Favorite actors, actresses?
My favorite actors are Johnny Depp, Ryan Gosling, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gerard Butler, and Jason Statham.
Do you follow any sports teams? If so who?
Saints and Miami Heat, that’s as much as I get into sports. Those are my football and basketball teams, and if they are on T.V., I’m cheering.
What turns you on?
Money and success always turn me on. It sounds terrible, but there’s no better feeling than knowing I have money in the bank. I’m not a gold digger, I just love the stress free feeling money gives me.
What turns you off?
My biggest turn off is a man who is not sensual.
Best place you ever had sex?
The best place I’ve ever had sex, was on an airplane. It’s something about the thrill and relief of in flight anxiety.
Ideal romantic night?
My ideal romantic night would be greeting me with a flower or bouquet, taking me to an amazing dinner. Then, have a few after dinner drinks. Last but not least, a sensual time rolling around in the sheets, with candles lit.
Tell us why you like Louisiana?
I like Louisiana, because it’s wild and fun. The food is amazing, and there’s so much history.
If we came to visit New Orleans, where would you take us?
I would take you for a tour of the city, from Garden District, to the Mississippi River front, to the Quarter, and Mid City. We would eat at Revolution, Italian Barrel, or GW Fins. We would have after dinner drinks at the Fountain Lounge, inside The Roosevelt Hotel. Probably go to Harrah’s for some blackjack too.
One place you would like to visit?
I would love to visit Greece, only because I’ve studied the language. I was intrigued by the sound of the language, and studied it on Rosetta Stone. The photos of Greece look so beautiful and I have yet to visit.
Something about you we would never guess?
You would never guess, but I am an extremely shy person. I get overwhelmed in a large room full of people. I never get stage fright when performing, because everything is routine, but when I’m at a social event I get so quiet and shy. Do not mistake my quietness for being a B!&@#, if I’m quiet its because I’m shy and speechless.
If you weren’t a dancer, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t a dancer I’d be designing dancer clothes or swimwear. I love sewing and I’ve been sewing since I was 7 years old. It’s also therapeutic for me when I am stressed, it takes my mind off of things.
Will you enter the Bikini contest again this year?
I will enter the bikini contest again this year, and I will come back looking the best I can. I feel like I set a bar for myself and also made it difficult on myself to reach that bar. So its my goal to reach that bar again and work on my stage presence.
A few words to your fans.
I just want to say Thank You, to everyone who has believed in me and for supporting my dreams and goals. I am grateful for all of the love and support, especially when things get tough. If you see me come and say hello! Let’s get this party started!
See you in Vegas!!!