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In Focus | Anna Clarke

Meet Anna! Anna is originally from England and has been living in the beautiful Okanagan for eight years now. She enjoys dancing, boating with her friends in the summertime and spending some quality time with her family & boyfriend.

<who> Photo Credit: Anna Clarke
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kelowna?
I moved here from England in 2008 and have lived in Kelowna on and off for around eight years now! Kelowna is such a beautiful place and I feel so lucky to be able to call it my home!

Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
A favourite person is a tough one! I have so many people in my life that I LOVE spending time with, however, I would have to say my family and my boyfriend would be at the top of my list!

What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
My favorite local store has to be Karat Chocolate...I mean who doesn't love chocolate!

Describe yourself in one word.

If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
I would definitely go to the Bahamas! It looks like such a beautiful place to visit. I've heard it has a beach called "Pig Beach" which is exactly how it sounds.. a beach full of pigs and piglets! That'll be where you can find me!

<who> Photo Credit: Anna Clarke
What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
My favourite activity in Kelowna has to be either boating with friends or going to drop in dance classes!

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
I once had to host a Bingo game which was on live TV to all of England, and I had never done this before. I am NOT a good public speaker and without realizing the camera was still live after the game, all of England watched me facepalm myself.

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
My Parents decided to move to Canada with three young children not knowing what was ahead of them, they took that huge leap just to give me and my brothers a better life. Leaving all of their family behind, they showed nothing but courage and selflessness. What they did has inspired me to make the most of my life, and to create a better future for my children one day.

Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
Sleepovers at my Nana Rita's house were the best! Nana Rita would always join in with our wild imaginations! From the moment we arrived to the moment we left, she was always thinking of ways she could set the scene for us. I'll never forget her stories and imagination, it was truly amazing!!

<who> Photo Credit: Anna Clarke
Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I recently held a month of dance classes with my company Hype Dance to collect food, warm clothing, and toiletries for the homeless over the winter period. My dancers paid for their classes by donating as much as they could to our cause and the outcome was amazing!

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
Probably the same answer that many others would have and that is for peace around the world. This world needs more kindness and love.

Where would you sneak away to in Kelowna to spend some time alone?
I would sneak up Knox mountain! The views up there are incredible and it's so peaceful.

Where would you like to see positive change in Kelowna and why?
I would love to see fewer people on the streets. I can't imagine how hard it must be out there especially in the winter time. It breaks my heart to see people on our streets suffering and being ignored.

What do you think makes Kelowna great?
Kelowna has a great sense of community. Being a small business owner, the support I have felt from the Kelowna community is amazing!

<who> Photo Credit: Anna Clarke
What are 3 things on your bucket list?
1) Go scuba diving in Australia!
2) Open a dance studio that is accessible to everyone!
3) Try white water rafting!

Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
I am obsessed with mint. Anything and everything mint scented or flavored!

How do people connect with you, personally, through social media? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.)
Instagram and Facebook @hypednc or @anna_marieclarke. I love collaborating with other local businesses or like-minded people!

What is the name of your business/organization?
Hype Dance

Why did you get into/start this business?
I moved back to Kelowna recently and felt like I had nowhere to go dancing.

<who> Photo Credit: Anna Clarke
What is the goal of your business?
To create a space where everyone feels comfortable to learn. We specialize in drop-in dance classes because we understand the hectic lives we sometimes have as adults and wanted to build somewhere accessible to everyone, at any time.

What has been your biggest struggle either at work or in life?
Saying NO! It took me a while to learn that saying no sometimes is okay! I would find myself burnt out, trying to keep everyone else happy all the time and I'd forget about myself.

If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
I would do things the same, I stand by the choices I make in life, whether its a mistake I needed to learn from or a great decision, I think they've all played a huge role in who I am today.

What do you always find yourself saying?
"Everything happens for a reason."

Tell us your best piece of life advice.
"Don't worry too much, make the most of today."

<who> Photo Credit: Anna Clarke
If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
Ellen Degeneres, she is so funny and kind-hearted! I would love to spend a day with her and learn as much as I could from this truly inspiring woman!

Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
Local shops & businesses are what makes our town unique, vibrant and fresh! The people who own these local businesses are your neighbors and friends, people who care about YOU and give back to our community!

What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Opening Hype Dance has been my proudest accomplishment. Creating an environment that I can see makes people happy, means the world to me!

Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
Sara Eddy, owner of Move & Flow Dance Fitness & Yoga! We run Hype Dance out of her studio and it's such a beautiful space because of her! Sara is a very hard working, down to earth woman and we wouldn't be where we are today without her help!

<who> Photo Credit: Anna Clarke
My choice for the KelownaNow In Focus spotlight is:
Peter Clarke, Owner of Restaurants Delivered in Kelowna!

Some general comments I would like to share are:
"The attitude you bring to the day is what the day will bring to you. Great attitude. Great day."

We encourage you to leave your comments and words of support below and submit your own nomination by clicking HERE. You are also welcome to submit a form of your own by clicking HERE.

In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition of the people, businesses, and organizations that help make our city great. Thank you, Kelowna!

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