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In Focus | Jess Yanko

Meet Jess. Jess was born and raised in Kamloops and owns a dance studio called Femme Fatale Kamloops.

Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kamloops?
I grew up in Kamloops, but left for about 8 years to live in different places and I moved back just over a year ago.

Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
My fiancé, Jonny. We do everything so well together. Whether it is cooking and amazing vegetarian meal or tearing it up on the dance floor!

What is your favourite local store in Kamloops and why?
There are so many, but I would have to say I love Castles & Cottages on Victoria. Every time I go there I find a unique gift to either give or receive... because sometimes a gift can be for yourself! :)

Describe yourself in one word.

If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
I have been really wanting to go to Ireland for a very long time. I would love to explore the countryside and have a Guinness in a true Irish pub!

What is your favourite activity in Kamloops?
Hiking! I love checking out new hiking spots around town. There are so many great hikes to choose from!

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
I was a second photographer at a wedding a few years ago and it had an outdoor ceremony. The evening before, we were at the rehearsal and for some reason the groomsmen kept smiling over at me. It turns out my dress was see-through in that lighting. Oops!

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
There are so many inspiring moments in my life, but I would have to say one of the most inspiring was being there when my sister gave birth to my nephew. There is something so powerful and beautiful about childbirth and to be a part of the experience was life changing for me. Women are truly amazing!

Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
I can't choose just one, so I would have to say spending my summers out at my family cabin on Shuswap Lake. Having carefree beach days were the absolute best!

Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
Working as a teacher and dance teacher have become a couple of ways that I give back to the community. However, I still have dreams of volunteering at the SPCA. Maybe one day when I'm a little less busy!

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
Greed. So much is wrong in the world that is based around greed and a desire for power. People are greedy with money and food. If we could learn to share, then I think many of the world's problems would go away. Sharing isn't a difficult concept to learn - I mean we all learn it in Kindergarten!

Where would you sneak away to in Kamloops to spend some time alone?
I love heading down to the river and walking along the beach. Anywhere there is a body of water, I find I am able to calm my mind and reground myself.
Where would you like to see positive change in Kamloops and why? The arts! I would like to see our venues support more local artists. I think we are moving in the right direction, but there is still room to grow.

What do you think makes Kamloops great?
Kamloops is the best place to grow up in or raise your family. People are so welcoming and friendly here! I have lived in different parts of BC and still Kamloops takes the top spot for the friendliest people.

What are 3 things on your bucket list?
1. Sell out a Femme Fatale dance show in Kamloops.
2. See Beyonce in concert!
3. Have a baby.

Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
I'm in a Punjabi music video that has 21 million views and counting!

How do people connect with you, personally, through social media?
Instagram, Facebook and

What is the name of your business/organization?
Femme Fatale Kamloops

Why did you get into/start this business?
Heels dancing has given me confidence not only as a dancer, but as a woman. I would like to give that same feeling of empowerment to all women in Kamloops. It doesn't matter your age, experience, size, or story. We all deserve to feel beautiful.

What is the goal of your business?
To create a community of empowered women through dance.

What has been your biggest struggle either at work or in life?
I used to overwork myself and not give myself enough rest. I had to learn the hard way through burn out that it's okay to say "no" sometimes.

What do you always find yourself saying?
I wish there was more time in a day!

Tell us your best piece of life advice.
Slow down and don't forget to take care of you. If you burn out, you are good to no one. So make sure you rest your body and soul every once in a while.

If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
Beyonce. Just being in her presence would be amazing. She is such a strong and confident woman. She truly is inspirational!

Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
We need to support the people in our community. There are so many amazing local businesses and entrepreneurs and they are the heart of Kamloops!

What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Helping expand Femme Fatale to Kamloops this year. It is only just beginning and I know that it will continue to evolve and impact so many women. It started in Kelowna and the owner, Tina Joslin, has reached so many women and changed their lives!

Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
Jesse Faubert! He has done so many amazing things for local artists here in Kamloops and is an inspirational entrepreneur!

My choice for the KamloopsBCNow In Focus spotlight is:
Jesse Faubert

Some general comments I would like to share are:
I love Kamloops and I am so happy to be back here to share my passion and pursue my dreams!

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. Thank you, Kamloops.

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!

Send your news tips, photos and videos to [email protected]
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