She is as beautiful as she is successful. Tanja La Croix can no longer be seen on the international catwalks. But, in 2015, the men’s magazine “Maxim” nonetheless named her the hottest woman in the German-speaking world. Since then, the long-legged beauty from eastern Switzerland has made it to the top in a very different field: Tanja La Croix is a globally successful House Music DJ and music producer. Her work involves a great deal of travelling and being in clubs all over the world, from Ibiza through Moscow to Beirut. But one place holds something special for Tanja: Tampa. Which is why she decided to shoot the music clip for her song ”We Turn The World Around“ there.

“It is hard to think of a better location than Tampa for a video shoot. The long, often almost deserted beaches provide for an ideal setting. And the water is nice and warm, which makes working in front of the camera so much more agreeable. Believe me, I know what I am talking about. In my modelling days, there were plenty of occasions when I had to grin and bear whilst standing in ice-cold water – albeit in stunning settings.

Often, the pace of work in places with beautiful beaches is different from what Swiss people are accustomed to. In Tampa, by contrast, everyone worked very, very fast and was highly professional. People were punctual and well-organised. I was incredibly grateful for that, especially as we only had two days to complete the shoot. We also cast some of the protagonists on site, and everything worked really well.

Photos: Michael Rohner

My highlight: watching the sunrise from a yacht

Compared to the party hotspots I usually deejay at, Tampa is very sophisticated. I like that. The video shoot felt like being on holiday, even though it involved a lot of work. I am very satisfied with the clip and was able to let loose during the shoot. Looking at the result, I feel I need not fear international comparison. The message I want to convey with ‘We Turn The World Around‘ is that we need to stop judging one another and try to stick together. That works best when partying. The relaxed atmosphere in West Florida mirrors that message very well and is thus the perfect location for the clip to the song.

I also had a photoshoot for the magazine ‘Maxim‘. The pictures were taken at sunrise on a ‘StarLite‘ yacht. It was absolutely amazing – even if it meant getting up when I usually go to bed. By the way, the ‘StarLite‘ cruise yachts in St.Petersburg/Clearwater can be chartered not only for photo and video productions, but for private events too, such as birthday parties and weddings.

Dress code: shorts and flip-flops

As said, I was very impressed by the long sandy beaches that are not as crowded as in most other places. This was a first for me. In Europe, the coastlines tend to be rocky, with small coves. I also really liked the city of Tampa. The houses, the shops – I thought everything was great. What with all my stopping to take pictures of anything and everything –including an ice cream parlour, a bar, even a launderette- I fear I may have driven our entire team slightly crazy.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to experience Tampa’s nightlife. I will do that next time. But the widespread prejudice that Florida is a place for the elderly is definitely wrong. There are many young people here too. Particularly in St. Petersburg where we were based. It is not far from Tampa and has a lovely beach. We stayed in the ‘Postcard Inn On The Beach‘, a hip but affordable hotel on the waterfront. We even shot bits of the video clip there. There were lots of young people who spontaneously joined in and danced with us. They can actually be seen in the video. I love how open the people are here, and their spontaneous, laid-back attitude. The atmosphere is generally very chilled. Similarly, when not in front of the camera, your appearance and attire are not a big deal. Quite the contrary: shorts and flip-flops are basically the way to go here. That is very different from many other places I work in, which is another reason why I enjoyed my stay in and around Tampa so much.

Art, culture and ice hockey

The food also impressed me. Of course you can get a tasty, original American hamburger with a cool beer in Tampa. But not just that. Sushi, for instance, is an absolute favourite of mine and something I eat often. The sushi I ate at St. Pete Beach was among the best I have ever tasted. The ‘Basil Leaf Thai & Sushi and Noodles’ restaurant is to be highly recommended. The food at ‘The Birchwood’ is also sensational and includes Florida specialities like crab cakes or homemade fish spread, but also meat dishes, salads and sandwiches. The roof terrace is a real highlight and a great place to relax with a drink at the end of the day.

One of the best things about Tampa and surroundings is that everything is within relatively close reach. For instance, art and cultural sights can easily be visited on foot, including the well-known ‘Salvador Dali Museum’, the ‘Museum of Fine Arts’ and the ‘Tampa Bay History Center’. Unfortunately, I only got to see them from the outside. But, on my next visit, I really do hope to have a bit more time for sightseeing and for visits to the ‘Florida Aquarium’ and ‘Busch Gardens’ theme and amusement park. A Tampa Bay Rays baseball game or a game of football featuring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, or an ice hockey game with the Tampa Bay Lightning would also be great to watch. Isn’t it astonishing that the ‘Sunshine State‘, where the sun shines pretty much all the time, should have a team in the National Hockey League?

Sleeping on the aircraft and having fun at work

By the way, I practice lots of sports and always spend time outdoors on Sundays. Sometimes I will go hiking. When I was in Florida, I did some jet-skiing which was great fun. Visitors with more time should definitely go surfing, snorkelling or try out some other water sports. The conditions here are ideal. Do I need to add that Florida is also a golfer’s paradise?

Plenty of sports and fresh air is also one of my top recommendations for frequent fliers. My second recommendation: sleep on the aircraft. Boarding an aircraft is like climbing into bed for me. I fall asleep as soon as we take off, and I wake up when the plane lands. On that note, I have rarely slept as well as I did on my Edelweiss flight to Tampa. And then had heaps of fun working in West Florida. I will be back for sure.”

Tanja La Croix’ Top Three in West Florida

1. Spend the night in a hip and totally relaxed atmosphere: Every room in the “Postcard Inn On The Beach“ is individually furnished, and the warm sand and ocean are literally on one’s doorstep (6300 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, FL).

2. A paradise for sushi fans: Anyone wanting a change from burgers and crab cakes will love the delicious sushi served at “Basil Leaf Thai & Sushi and Noodles“ (6395 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, FL).

3. Stylish and welcoming: Sophisticated accommodation, good food, and drinks served on a cool roof terrace: “The Birchwood“ has it all (340 Beach Drive Northeast, St. Petersburg, FL).

(Text: Sandra Casalini)