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Thursday, 27 July 2017

INTRODUCING: VANESSA

Vanessa and I first met in person back in May at a clothing sale that we were both taking part in but we've been following each other on Instagram for a while now. Her bold personal style is what first drew me to her on social media - it's a fantastic mix of colourful athleisure and retro '90s pieces. Meeting people that you follow online is a unique experience. People either surprise you by being nothing like they appear to be online or it feels like you've been friends for awhile and you're able to skip the awkward stages of getting to know someone. Meeting Vanessa was the latter.
Vanessa is an extremely creative and passionate person in all aspects of her life and she expresses herself through dance. As someone who's rhythm and coordination can only be compared to a drunk toddler, the world of dance is a world that I know nothing about but Vanessa is amazing at explaining every aspect of it - from what it means to her, to why it's important, to different genres and steps - she has a wealth of knowledge on the subject and she never makes you feel left out and silly for asking questions.

She is currently teaching at The Flava Factory in Wellington West and this is what she had to say about why she started dance and why she's so passionate about the art:

I have been dancing since I was a kid, but started taking lessons in the studio around age 12. I grew up listening to various types of music, but hip hop resonated with me the most. I didn't officially start teaching until I was in my early 20s and that was through my boss at the time putting trust in my talents and giving me the opportunity to teach. While I was in University I took a brief break from dancing, due to me listening to other people's opinion saying it isn't a real job and in my final year, I ended up working at a dance studio. During my time at the studio, it reignited my love for dance but also opened my mind to various styles. I mostly focus on Hip Hop and House. But I like to learn the foundation of various street styles. Once I moved back to Ottawa, I kind reconnected with old dance contacts and then met new people and ended up at The Flava Factory. I now teach solely at The Flava Factory and do workshops in schools here and there. I teach the Intro and Inter Hip Hop classes at the studio. I'm passionate about dance because as someone who doesn't consider themselves to be that strong in verbal communication; I am able to express myself through dance. It's always another awesome way to learn about other cultures. Understanding the music and history of these various dances helps you to be that much more open minded.

The Flava Factory Vanessa's Instagram

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