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Best of Chicago 2013 » Arts & Culture

Best Amateur Hip-Hop Dancer Who's Also a Professional Wrestler 

Lisa Marie Varon

reallisamarie.com

If you can execute a moonsault, hip-hop will be a snap, of course. But when Lisa Marie Varon showed up last summer in the dance class I take, I had no idea who she was. Tall, slender, broad-shouldered, with a lightning-bolt streak of red in her dark hair, she had an eagle eye for new moves and the sinewy, serpentine strength to nail them. I was envious. Then my teacher—who'd met Varon in the 90s, when she was a fitness model—told me that this new student, who'd recently moved back to Chicago, was actually a champion professional wrestler, known as "Victoria" in WWE and as "Tara" (aka "Tarantula") in TNA (Total Nonstop Action) Wrestling. Well, OK: I didn't feel so bad. Though Varon usually plays the heel—she once dropped a tarantula on an unconscious opponent—in real life she's proved to be supernice (whew), whether dancing or dishing out comfort food at her new pizza-and-burger joint, the Squared Circle.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)