The dancer
Hi Magazine|Series 18 Volume 5 - 2020
MALEENA RAJAPAKSHA, IN TRAINING FOR THE AUSTRALIAN DANCESPORT CHAMPIONSHIPS
Tina Edward Gunawardhana

It is an absolute no brainer that 21-year-old Maleena Rajapaksha was born to dance. It is in her DNA and also her stars! Having begun her journey in dance since she could barely stand, Maleena was a 7-year-old child when she had her first-ever Salsa lesson with Kosala Amarasinghe a well known Salsa and Bachata instructor. That first lesson left a lasting impression on Maleena who has since forged a career in dance. Currently reading for her Masters in Supply Chain and Strategic communications at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, Maleena is in training for the competition of her life, the Australian Dancesport Championships where she aims to dance her heart out in order to win a coveted medal.

Describing the effect dance has on her she says “dance to me is a passion that grew stronger over the years. It is a complete form of escape, it allows me the freedom to express myself in ways I cannot put into words. Whenever I get on to the stage, I feel like I am stepping into a new realm. I believe every dancer/performer can relate to this but every time I get on that stage in front of a live audience or camera it gives me a sense of freedom and confidence.”

Inspired by her mother Tamiko Perera, in 2009 Maleena joined Antonio’s Dance Circle also known as ADC which is one of the oldest Ballroom Dance Schools in Sri Lanka.

Headed by Toni Fernandez, ADC focused on Latin American and Ballroom dancing. Maleena was trained by Fernandez’s wife Michelle Mortier.

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