Editor’s note: This article was originally published August 13, 2013

Seven women from an Austin fitness studio are headed to Dallas to compete in a statewide pole dancing competition.

And yes, that’s a sort of fitness, don’t you think?

The women, instructors and students at Inner Diva Studios in North Austin, were chosen as finalists for the Miss Texas Pole Star’s Fourth Annual Competition and Pole Convention. The event takes place Oct. 12 at the Lakewood Theater in Dallas.

Inner Diva Studios specializes in what they call "unique forms of fitness," including pole, hula hoop, burlesque and chair tease.

"It’s so important to us to get the word out that pole is not about the negative stigma that people conceive it to be," says Cherie Williams, owner of the studio. Rather, she says, it’s about empowering women and encouraging a healthier lifestyle through dance and fitness.

Dez Raven, a lead pole fitness instructor at the studio, is among the women who will be competing in Dallas.

"I’ll be training physically six days a week, but mentally I’ll be training every day. For me that means, practice, practice, practice, breathing exercises, prayer, more practice, stretching, meditation and practice," Raven said in a press release.

Also headed to Dallas are Keeley Alvarado, Kristen Fyffe, Stacy Bishop, Christine Hla, Femi Salami and Allison Boyson.