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Cheryl from Cheetah

Earning her spots and stripes

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A petite blonde in her mid-30s, Cheryl boasts an enviable management position in one of Atlanta's premier entertainment facilities.

Having been at her job more than 10 years, she also possesses job security that would have many in this economy drooling. When you add, however, that her employer is Midtown's legendary Cheetah, well, the word drool takes an entirely new twist.

Cheryl knows about making people drool -- first as Cody, a dancer and Playboy pinup at the club and now in her current incarnation as daytime entertainment manager.

Not only does she keep the lunch hours running smoothly for the 33-year-old establishment, she also auditions the ladies who help make gentlemen consider an extended lunch.

A tiny rear end does not (necessarily) a dancer make: "I've learned that variety is the spice of life. If all we had were 6-feet-tall Elle MacPhersons, not everyone would find her attractive. So therefore you have to have that voluptuous woman, you have to have that cute, short, petite girl. I can't have all my favorites here."

A minister's daughter with a physician for a mother-in-law, Cheryl raised a few eyebrows when she chose to leave her job at the health department to work for the Cheetah.

"I was never secretive about [my job]. Everybody I meet knows that this is what I do, and I'm not ashamed of it because to me we do nothing wrong here. We're adults and you have to be an adult to come here."

What happened to Cody?: "I turned 30 and I decided you have to figure out what you're going to do with your life. The Cheetah has been very good to me, allowing me to learn new things, try new things and just move up the ladder in this business."

As with any career, longevity results from a certain level of professionalism. "A lot of girls take this differently, but I took this as a real job -- I showed up on time, worked my shift and went home. As far as I was concerned, Cody stayed in the locker and Cheryl went home."

And, if Cody had never come into existence? "I was very interested in the health department so I probably would have gone to nursing school and become a nurse. Instead I chose to live in a fantasy world, save my money, be smart about it and be thankful for the choice that I made.

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