I had the amazing opportunity to dance with Vanessa Born as we cheered for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. This California girl is now an actress and is taking Hollywood by storm. From the moment I met her, I just knew she was meant for the LA scene. She’s witty, hilarious, yet extremely down to earth always catering to her fans.
Vanessa started her career, appearing on shows such as: “All of Us,” “Eve,” “One on One,” “CSI NY,”and “Hannah Montana.” She also appeared regularly on Nick Cannon’s MTV Show, “Short Circutz.” Vanessa was then casted opposite Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford as Laci on “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” Born then went to HBO, working with George Clooney and Grant Heslov in an “Unscripted;” pilot about the NBA produced by Born’s former bosses, the Maloof brothers. This was a very familiar scene because of her time as a NBA cheerleader.
Cheer and dance helped launch Born’s career, as it led to her role starring along Christina Milian in “Bring It On Fight To The Finish,” playing Gloria. Recently, Vanessa has been back in the television scene appearing on the TV Show, “Herlarious,” staring Wanda Sikes. You can now find Vanessa on SHOWTIME opposite Jon Voight in the series second season premiere of “Ray Donovan,” playing Jazmin.
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What music are you currently listening to?
What was your most memorable moment as a cheerleader/dancer?
My most memorable moment was my funniest moment as a Kings dancer. It was a Lakers vs Kings game, and it was nationally televised. We were in triple overtime, and on our way out from the tunnel to the basketball court, I tripped over a camera guy and fell face first. The best part was I earned the number two spot on top sports bloopers.
What advice would you give to future pro cheerleaders/dancers auditioning for their dream team?
Never take it personally if you don’t make it. Each year that I didn’t make the team, I learned something new. My first year, it was my age. My second year auditioning, it was my style–I still had not mastered the NBA dance style yet. And finally, it wasn’t until my third year where everything came together.
What is your strength when it comes to choreography and dancing?
From a young age, I’ve always had a great memory. This has always given me a great advantage over others, especially during the audition process. In addition to that, I try to give it my own style by adding a bit of my personality.
What is your favorite social media outlet?
I love Instagram and I’m starting to really like Twitter.
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What is a must have item that you keep in your dance bag?
I always keep a scarf for my feet. Instead of using a thera-band, I use a scarf to
warm up my feet before I dance.
Favorite kind of shoes to dance in…
Heels of course! They really make your legs look long and slim.
What is your personal must have beauty item?
Bea vitamin C cleanser… This stuff really buffs your skin allowing your make up to look flawless. I’ve found that no matter what type of make-up you wear, it wont look good unless your skin looks good.
Name 1 fitness tip you would recommend.
Sit ups! In fact I do them in my car–which sounds awful I know! I live in LA, which has crazy traffic. While I’m wasting the time away, I put my seat back slightly over a 90 degree angle and literally do my sit ups. Now, before you call the cops, I assure you that I’ve got both hands on the wheel and my car is at a stand still.
What performer would you drop everything for to go and see and why?
“Gasp!!!! Why Beyoncé of course!” She is the true definition of a show woman. She puts on a full performance with the full glamour. She let’s us know it’s game time.
Who do you have a dance crush on?
What is your pre-performance ritual?
What is your favorite or most inspiring quote?
Smile, even if you don’t want to.”
What made you want to transition to acting?
I think if you ask anyone that I grew up with, it’s always been in me. If it had anything to do with acting, I was the first to volunteer. And since there wasn’t any acting in Sacramento, I found that the closest thing to a stage was cheerleading and dance. So after that, I found that acting was the next natural step. I think dancing for the NBA was a goal that I had successfully reached, so I thought, “What else could be possible for me?” and I took a chance.
What advice do you have for dancers trying to transition into the Hollywood scene?
Treat it like dance… If you danced everyday for the past 20 years of your life, you would know that it took time for you to master your art. When transitioning to acting, it’s the same concept–it will take time and a lot of dedication.