HOME CITY SYDNEY
OCCUPATION PILATES INSTRUCTOR
DANCE STYLE BALLET / CONTEMPORARY JAZZ
Beautiful. That was the much repeated word Vanessa’s first audition piece inspired in judge Jason Coleman, and he’s certainly not alone in that assessment. However, the gentle 23-year-old quickly proved during Top 100 week she’s not just innocent and sweet, but incredibly determined and versatile when it comes to dance.
Vanessa didn’t originally want to audition for SYTYCD because she didn’t think her quiet, shy personality would be right for a TV show. Luckily she overcame her reservations to secure a place in the Top 20. The Australian born Chinese dancer started Ballet For Fun classes when she was just three years old. “I remember when we had to skip around in a circle,” she recalls. “Mum said I actually jumped like a kangaroo rather than skipped!” She started proper ballet classes two years later. At age 14 she attended a year-long full-time dancing course at Tanya Pearson’s Classical Coaching Academy, and left home at age 15 to attend The Australian Ballet School, before continuing onto QLD University of Technology to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance). Following this, she completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in Pilates at the University of Technology, Sydney.
Vanessa is now a full-time Pilate’s instructor, teaching at Modern Pilates, Mantra Yoga and Dance Fitness International in Sydney. In 2004 she jetted off overseas to dance in Taiwan at the Asia Pacific International Dance Conference and Festival – a ten minute routine involving a dance partner and a couch! But for all her training and achievements, it might surprise you to learn the hard-working Vanessa almost gave up dancing to pursue her faith. From 2005 to 2006, she was training herself to become a spiritual minister, and tried to give up dancing – unsuccessfully. At the beginning of 2007, she realised that her passion and heart did indeed lay in dance, so now Vanessa dances to feel close to God.
Vanessa loves performing Contemporary, and her Pilates training means she displays incredible flexibility and strength on the floor. And her weakness? “I get self-conscious when I have to act sexy. It’s so not me.” Let’s see if STYTCD brings out Vanessa’s inner vixen!
Key quote: “I enjoy dancing so much because I feel like my life is heading in the right direction. I’ve found my calling in life.”