Dancing with a passion
By Pekai Kotoisuva
Ever since childhood, when she began to shake her hips, Giovanna Varea's passion for song and dance has continued to grow.
The 23-year-old lass of Noa'tau, Rotuma with maternal links to Yaloku, Yakete in Ba talks about dancing with so much enthusiasm.
She shares her story and passion for traditional dance with The Fiji Times. "In Year 8, I had the chance to do a Fijian traditional meke for girls; this was my very first i-Taukei dance," she said.
"I finally began dancing at Rotuma Day celebrations when I was in Year 9 and had the opportunity to represent the Rotuman Delegation at the Arts Festival held in PNG."
The Adi Cakobau old scholar said by the age of 15 she realised she wanted to pursue dancing as a career.
"When cheerleading auditions came up in school I decided to get out of my comfort zone and auditioned.
"The once shy girl was no more and I just longed to dance and have fun." After being a part of the school cheerleading squad for three years, Ms Varea joined VOU in 2018.
"If my memory is correct, I joined VOU mid-November and I've been dancing for almost four years now.
"Since joining VOU, I can say it has been a roller coaster ride, and training is so intense. I used to get bruises from learning various techniques and repertoire when I first joined."
"Now as my body has learned how to move in different ways, I hardly ever bruise and it has also built my confidence and ability to push myself in dancing with more difficult styles. The Rotuman lass said her family has been her source of inspiration.
"Their love and support keeps me going and my parents work ethic and dedication has taught me to exercise this with what I am doing now, which is dance." She said she sees herself performing her most best in the near future.
"I will be dancing with VOU and spreading the joys that dance brings to the world.
"The future, although somewhat unknown, I hope someday these written words will come to pass and I'm dedicated to see it does."
The 23-year-old hopes she gets the chance to meet some of dance's biggest inspirations like CJ Salvador, Misty Copeland, Galen Hooks and Delaney.
Her advice to youths and those who are still unsure of pursuing dance is "always listen to your heart and instincts and when in doubt be sure to do something you love so you always feel a sense of fulfillment.
Be brave and be a risk taker – living every moment of your lifetime."