'House Cats’ reality TV pilot profiles image changing

Victoria Watts and Karen Danni wear silver platform shoes, which represents their newly formed company, Silver Shoe Productions, and an example of typical heels worn for pole dancing. The duo will produce an upcoming reality television pilot called "House Cats,"  following five women through their journey from reserved and reluctant to bold and sexy. Joanna Chau/Special to the Daily News

Photo by JOANNA CHAU // Buy this photo

Victoria Watts and Karen Danni wear silver platform shoes, which represents their newly formed company, Silver Shoe Productions, and an example of typical heels worn for pole dancing. The duo will produce an upcoming reality television pilot called "House Cats," following five women through their journey from reserved and reluctant to bold and sexy. Joanna Chau/Special to the Daily News

From left to right are Victoria Watts and Karen Danni. The duo will produce an upcoming reality television pilot called "House Cats,"  following five women through their journey from reserved and reluctant to bold and sexy. Joanna Chau/Special to the Daily News

Photo by JOANNA CHAU // Buy this photo

From left to right are Victoria Watts and Karen Danni. The duo will produce an upcoming reality television pilot called "House Cats," following five women through their journey from reserved and reluctant to bold and sexy. Joanna Chau/Special to the Daily News

Victoria Watts and Karen Danni review the list of candidates vying for a part as one of the five women who will be coaxed out of their shells through pole dancing for an upcoming reality television pilot called "House Cats.' Joanna Chau/Special to the Daily News

Photo by JOANNA CHAU // Buy this photo

Victoria Watts and Karen Danni review the list of candidates vying for a part as one of the five women who will be coaxed out of their shells through pole dancing for an upcoming reality television pilot called "House Cats." Joanna Chau/Special to the Daily News

— Producers of a TV pilot shooting in Naples want women who are sexy and confident but don’t quite know it yet.

Karen Danni and Victoria Watts will be casting for their own reality television pilot called “House Cats” from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the G&L Theater at the Community School of Naples. The show will follow five local women through their journey from reserved and reluctant to bold and sexy, using a once-a-week pole dance class as a vehicle to bring out their inner tigress.

“When you get into pole dance, you really have to let yourself go,” said Watts who has been doing pole-dance fitness since September. “We thought it would be interesting to find five women who really have to let go and watch them transform and see how this newfound sexiness affects their lives.”

The pair thought of the idea for the show after their own weekly dance class, during which they watched a variety of women from all walks of life take on the pole.

“A lot of women repress things or are reluctant about things or are very reserved,” said Danni, who is the long-time choreographer at Theatre Zone in Naples. “And we see that in our classes, but it takes changing your environment and putting yourself on the pole to bring that bounce back in your step.”

The two friends, who have formed Silver Shoe Productions, and their partner in the pilot, Brian Howie of 4th Street Media, are seeking women ages 30 to 60 from different careers and backgrounds, all ethnicities, shapes and sizes. Danni said they are somewhat lenient with ages.

The producers want women who are reserved in nature and willing to allow cameras to follow them for five days. As of last Wednesday, Danni said she had signed up about 20 women, ranging from 80 to as young as 29.

“My mother almost didn’t get on the plane today because she wanted to audition,” said Watts, a wife and mother of three. “She’s 63.”

At the upcoming audition, candidates will be interviewed in groups of five by Watts, Danni and Howie. Those who make the cut will be asked to do a test spin on the pole.

“We want to see if there is coordination,” said Danni who started pole dancing classes with Watts in October, “and it’s even funny if they don’t. We just want to get an idea of how they let loose,” Watts added.

The pilot will start shooting in mid-March, following the five women through every aspect of their lives, including home life, work, downtime and a meeting at the pole dance studio. There is no compensation, housing or travel.

“The meeting is sort of their little escape, and where we want to see them start to unleash the sexuality aspect,” said Danni, who is also a wife and mother of three. “It’ll be a catalyst for their empowerment.”

Some critics may suggest pole dance is not empowering and more obscene. Watts defended the classes as an art form and a practical exercise routine.

“They don’t really understand it,” Watts said. “It’s an art form and a form of fitness, like yoga. We’re trying to erase the stigma that pole dancing is just for strippers. It’s exercise, an escape and a way to let go.”

Editing on the pilot will be done by April. They will then shop the show around in Los Angeles.

Danni and Watts hope it will be picked up by a major cable network and anticipate shooting the first 13 episodes. For now, they are calling for anyone who wants to bring out their inner divas.

“Maybe people are looking for a change in their lives,” Watts said. “Maybe they’re divorced or widowed.

“And it’s time for them to break out.”

Sign up/information: E-mail karenmnyc@aol.com or call (239) 249-2099

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