The Go-Go Dancers of Ultra Music Festival
Photo by: George Martinez From left to right: Jessie Wedell, C.J. Jones, and Kelli Rika
We've all seen them. They're gorgeous, perfectly unattainable beauties with grace, poise, and loads of talent.
They're the go-go dancers of Ultra Music Festival, and they're dressed in fantastic costumes, floating from the rafters, and charming the crowd from lofty pedestals flanked by fire and lasers.
But who are these women? Turns out, they're just like the rest of us -- except they're gorgeous and paid to dance at Ultra. We sat down with a few of the ladies from the main stage and Carl Cox mega-structure to pull back the veil of mystery by asking about their jobs, their day-to-day lives, and what kind of guys (or girls) they go for.
Photo by George Martinez Kelli Rika.
It's a long, hard road to the Ultra stage, and most of these women have studied dance since before most of us could dress ourselves. They're highly versatile performers, with experience in ballet, jazz, hip-hop, flamenco, cheerleading, gymnastics, even aerial ballet.
"In general, I've been dancing since I was 7," says C.J. Jones, 25. "Ballet is mostly my base, and then for the past eight years or so, I've been doing hip-hop. That's really where my heart and soul is. I think it's a nice eclectic way to bring everything together."
Katie Kansas is the mastermind who assembles the dancing team. Each girl is expected to bring their own flair to the stage. And although there are some choreographed moments where point ballet or duets are performed, most of the fun comes when they get to merge their dance skills and get lost in the music.
"It's funny, you kind of get into a zone," says 25-year-old Jessie Wedell. "You can feel the energy from the crowd, but you don't really pay attention. It's just a moment."