Dance discovery – Michael Jackson fan finds her rhythm

Petrina envisions herself being one of the top hip-hop choreographers. Picture: COURTESY OF MICHELLE NEELING (TRAVEL LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY).

Finding a hobby that turns into a passion can set you on a journey of self-discovery. For Petrina Lani Adi Vasu this discovery was made possible through dancing. Growing up, the Nabasovi, Koro islander fell in love with Michael Jackson’s ‘This is It’ documentary film. What got her hooked was the King of Pop’s intense dance routines.

“I had no dance experience at all,” she said. “Ever since I was nine-years-old, I fell in love with Michael Jackson so much that I would wake up at 4am just to watch the choreography and learn his moves before I’d go to school.”

The 22-year-old said it got to a point that she would ask her mum to wake her up every morning.

“That’s when I realised I loved dancing.” In 2017, many years later, she joined the VOU Dance School and has been dancing ever since.

She draws inspiration from her first two dance teachers, Edwin Saladoka and Navi Fong.

“They made me feel comfortable, accepted and they taught me how to love myself again through dancing. Watching them dance made me realise that there is still hope in life for me and I thank God for their lives, because they are the reason I keep pushing myself every day and they are also the reason I love what I do.”

She says her aunties have also helped to inspire her.

“They used to have dance battles in FSC, Ba where they used to have crumping and other hip hop competitions when they were in their teens, which is just so cool.

“They have definitely influenced my love for hip hop.”

Ms Vasu believes VOU has also helped her ‘step out of her comfort zone’.

“Before joining VOU, I was a really shy and reserved person, but they shaped and moulded me to become this confident and outspoken woman that I am today and I am forever grateful to VOU for that.

“VOU doesn’t only teach you to dance, but they can also bring you out of your comfort zone to learn life skills.”

Ms Vasu dreams of becoming a top hip hop choreographer not only in Fiji but in the world.

“Hip hop is my strength and I would love to be one of the best hip hop choreographers in the future.

“I would also love to learn different genres like Kathak and belly dancing to incorporate it into my hip hop.”

Her message to youths and aspiring dancers is “go for something you’re passionate about and don’t hold back.”

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