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5 minutes with: Tara-Jean Popowich

The Season 2 winner of CTV’s hit series&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ctv.ca/mini/dance2009/index.html" target="_blank"></a>So You Think You Can Dance Canada proves there’s still plenty of opportunity to pirouette once thecameras stop rolling.

The Season 2 winner of CTV’s hit series So You Think You Can Dance Canada proves there’s still plenty of opportunity to pirouette once the cameras stop rolling.

You see a lot of reality show competitors disappear after taking home the big prize. What’s life really been like post-win?

It’s been hectic. Being on the show, you’re in this bubble and you don’t realize how much support you have, so coming out of it I wasn’t expecting to be so busy. But it’s been absolutely amazing. I get to see the world.

What have some of the highlights been?

I got to choreograph and be the main dancer in a Theo Tams video, and I did my first magazine cover for Verve Girl — as a dancer you don’t expect to do magazine work, so that was really exciting. (Boyfriend) Vincent (Desjardins) and I taught and performed in India. That experience changed our lives! And we just got back from Paris on Tuesday.

Do you think you can you build on the show’s momentum to create a lifelong career?

Yes! Oh my goodness, for sure. What the show gives you is the confidence, the strength, the mentality — it changes you so much as a person because it’s probably going to be the most difficult thing you ever go through in your life.

What made it so difficult?

Just the pressure and the stress. You’re dancing for 3.5 million people and you’re doing what you love, but you’re also out of your comfort zone because you’re doing styles you’ve never done before.

Still, at the end of the day you just have to remind yourself that it’s all for the love of dance.

Why do you think it’s so hard to make dancing a career?

First of all there’s not a lot of work here, and Canadians are too nice. So we’ll get cut from something and we won’t go back because our mentality tells us we can’t do it. You need a tough skin, and you can’t take things personally because the reason you didn’t get hired may have been nothing more than your hair colour. It’s not just about talent, because all dancers have talent; it’s about mentality, belief.

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