Watch Sheela Awe and other Dance Fitsugar instructors in new episodes launching every Friday at POPSUGAR Fitness YouTube Channel.
When sheila awe Coming to Hollywood for the first time about 10 years ago, it was a different world. You won’t go to dance classes to get a spot on the front line so you can film it for your YouTube or Tiktok channel; You’ll just go “to learn, experiment, and dance,” she says. Although Awe originally moved from Southeast Asia to the United States to pursue a professional dance career, her path has taken a similar turn in the industry as a whole – that is, going digital. She has grown from a hopeful dancer to a multi-faceted artist, host, and content creator who uses movement as one of the ways she surprises, delights and engages audiences on TikTok and Instagram and most recently as the new host of POPSUGAR Dance Fitsugar Series on YouTube.
As times change, as the world of dance changes, you have to change with it too.
While it may seem like there are countless voices on the internet these days, Awe brings a fresh perspective and delightful sense of humor to everything she does. Results? Infectious energy and elegant content you can’t stop watching, whether it’s showing off a mix of dance, entertaining you with quirky things on the streets of NYC, or learning Mandarin sayings during the #MandoMondaze series. We promise – all it takes is one video, and you’ll find yourself hooked.
Pursue her dreams around the world
Awe’s parents are from Germany and Taiwan, Awe was born in South Korea and raised throughout Southeast Asia. She started dancing when she was a little girl, among a lot of other creative extracurricular subjects. “In the house I grew up in, we’d always take jazz lessons or learn an instrument, because I’m also half Asian, so it plays into that whole cultural thing where it sounds like, ‘Then on Saturday I have Chinese school and then on Monday I have ballet, and on Tuesday I have jazz, Wednesday I have piano, Thursday I have violin, and after that I have Friday line,”
Then, when she was 16 years old and living in Shanghai, Awe found the local underground hip-hop dance scene. She’s never liked ballet, but hip-hop – and all of its “essential” moves – were for her, and this casual environment was a perfect place to find her moves. “You wouldn’t go there for a music video shoot or dancers wrote abroad for a tour,” she says. “It’s more than that for the love of hip-hop and the love of dancing only.”
She began teaching dance and performing in local shows and music videos, and by the end of high school, she decided she wanted—no, she needed—to pursue her dreams of becoming a professional dancer. She canceled her plans to study something in England, and instead was like, “Well, where do dancers thrive or thrive?”
Answer: New York City. Awe began studying media and culture in The new school While dancing, spending years near legendary dance establishments, such as Alvin Ailey and Juilliard, honing her craft. “But deep down, I still wanted to do more business, and this was all in Los Angeles,” she says. So after graduation, I went.
Making it all happen in Los Angeles
Once in Los Angeles, Awe started auditioning, recording dance performances working with different music artists, appearing in music videos, and going on tour with Bhad Bhabi. She was also part of a girl group, young masterFrom 2013 to 2015. She never stopped dancing, but began spending more time in front of the camera “talking, talking, talking,” she says — for example, as Shein’s live broadcaster and one of the faces on “The Episode”, featured on Snapchat about street style.
When social media content started feeling like the next big thing in entertainment, Awe was ready — she says creativity came naturally to her. She wasn’t necessarily looking for social media fame, but she started posting unique fashion snippets for fun, and they really “goed off”, she says.
Her approach was simple. She and her friends are already creative, dancers, and “foolish people,” says Awe, so she started filming herself doing the same things “I’d already done without the cameras,” she explains. Sometimes that includes getting glitter or Go to a music festival. But for Awe, it also meant filming choreographed routines Jump over shoe boxes In her living room, or Singing in the potatoes.
What do you bring into the mix
Awe isn’t keeping her stand-up comedy for TikTok: she’s also taking it to the POPSUGAR stage. “I want people to watch these videos and I want them to laugh while exercising,” she says. “I want them to feel inspired, not embarrassed…and feel empowered too. To do it all with laughter and humor, because that’s really the best medicine. I know people, whether they’re going through grief, they’ve just been fired, or whatever they’re going through, they understand Always like, “I just need to exercise, I need to sweat, I need to do all these things.” To do that, laugh at the same time, have fun with it, to heal and enjoy The healing process is perfect.”
Much of her social content has been inspired by her multicultural upbringing. For example, we will share the awe Favorite Taiwanese fast food dishesas well as teaching a new Mandarin phrase every week on its social channels, called “MandoMondaze”. “People who don’t speak Mandarin or even non-Asian people watch that and say, ‘Oh, my God.'” I love that. That’s what I want to do and what I want to learn,” he says. “This is a big part that also keeps me going: that I want to continue to bring my culture or continue to represent my culture, in that sense.”
But no matter how charming it all is on social media, working in the entertainment industry and as a content designer isn’t without its ups and downs. In addition to urging the “perfect” Virgo to reshoot everything so every shot is flawless, Awe says one of the biggest challenges she faces is how inconsistent the industry is. “You’ll have the best experiences, you’ll have an income stream, and then you’ll find stability that will be very short-term,” she says. “Then you go back to the trenches and you’re like, ‘Oh, my God. why did you do that? Why did you choose this profession and this path? ”
In the end, she says, the feeling of gratitude always comes back: “I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she says. And when she’s at one of those lows, she simply has to remind herself that “It doesn’t mean I’m back to square one, it just means I’m getting creative again and I just need inspiration. Sometimes it takes time.”
Image source: POPSUGAR Video
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