Last updated on Jun 12th, 2018 at 11:13 am

DWTSSA’s Vanes-Mari talks weight, fitness and balanced living
I had the absolute best time on Dancing with the Stars, I completely exceeded my own expectations on the show and am very proud of how far I came.

Dancing With the Stars

It looked like you enjoyed the experience on DWTSSA. What was your favourite type of dance to learn?

Vanes-Mari: I had the absolute best time on Dancing with the Stars, I completely exceeded my own expectations on the show and am very proud of how far I came.

I made the best of friends during the show and managed to laugh (and make other people laugh!) most of the time.

My favourite dance style was ballroom, and I loved the Tango and the Waltz the most. Latin dance did grow on me as I really enjoyed the Paso Doble and the Salsa dances we did.

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What was your highlight of Dancing with the Stars SA

Vanes-Mari: Other than having the best dance partner and making great friends, it was getting a score of three 10s on the show for our Waltz.

The Samba was a big challenge for me, being the ‘most difficult’ Latin dance, and getting good scores from the judges was great. It was such an adventure and getting recognition for the hard work we put in made it a definite highlight for me.

Career, sport and marriage

Do you have a day job on top of being an athlete? 

Vanes-Mari: Yes, I actually have a couple.

I am a freelance specialist netball coach for various schools and teams. I do many motivational speaking appearances and host of a couple of events. I work for Supersport in presenting and commentating capacity. I am part of a charity organisation called the Caring Daisies Foundation and have a couple of charity projects that I’m helping out with.

So when I’m not training I have a lot of things to keep me busy 😉

What is your position in the North West Flames Netball Team and what do you hope to achieve this netball season? 

Vanes-Mari: I mainly play the positions of goal shooter and goalkeeper. They are at opposite ends of the court, but I do enjoy the challenge.

This season I hope to contribute to my team’s success in the Netball Premier League and play every game as if it’s my last. I am at a point where I’m just really enjoying the game, no pressure, just working hard and loving my time on the court. 

Maintaining a work-life balance is hard, and we believe you have recently married too. How do you manage to strike a calm balance with so much going on in your life?  

Vanes-Mari: I truly believe that I married the best man on earth – he is so supportive and understanding.

I am, and will always be a motivated, driven, and hard-working woman, he loves that about me and he always encourages me to be a better version of myself. With that kind of support, it’s easier to actually live my dreams, with him by my side.

Do you have any stress-busting tips to share? 

Vanes-Mari: I travel a lot in my car, so I love listening to inspirational podcasts or TED talks. It keeps me calm in the traffic.

What do you do to relax?

Vanes-Mari: I love to spend time with my husband, wherever he might be, that’s when I’m at my most relaxed. I love spending time with friends and family too.

I also enjoy getting a nice massage at my local spa, Life Day Spa in Fourways (a definite favourite) and enjoy doing girlie things like getting my nails or hair done. Believe it or not, it’s very therapeutic for me!

If you’d like to keep up with Vanes-Mari, you can follow her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.