Having moved to Australia from Sri Lanka at the age of 7, Shannon has always loved dancing, although not able to attend formal dance classes due to the expense, she improvised at home and entertained her family and friends. After being spotted dancing at a club at the age of 18, her professional dancing career was launched.
At the age of just 21, Shannon opened Q2Dance and has been running it on her own ever since, wanting to create some permanency in the transient world of dance. Building something from nothing is a challenge, especially as a young woman, but Shannon’s main piece of advice to young female entrepreneurs is: “Work hard, put in the time, say yes to every opportunity that comes your way, put aside the little voice of insecurity and believe that you can do it because you will always find a way”.
Who is your family made up of?
My family is more complicated than a Shakespearean novel! My partner Nicole and I have two kids, Luella 13 and Murphy 11. They are technically my step-kids but 100% my kids in every way that matters and I couldn’t have asked for kids that are more mine or like me in so many ways, even if I had given birth to them.
My biological mum and my dad married when they were quite young and had myself and my brother Brandon, in their very early twenties. After they divorced, my dad married my step-mum, (I call her mum), and they had my brother Zac, but then they also divorced! Now my dad is with his partner who is only 3 years older than me, but we – my partner and my kids – love her and we love calling her grandma since she’s only 33! My mum (step-mum) is also re-married and had my sister Ava with her new partner!
Nicole’s family is less complicated but is also very much part of our family. Her father passed away when Nicole was in her early twenties. Her family consists of her mum, a sister, step-sister, step-brother, and her mum’s partner plus 2 nieces and 1 nephew.
And that’s my awesome, incredible, loving, accepting, modern family!!!
What is a typical day with your family like?
Organised chaos! We live very full and busy lives. My partner runs her own interior styling business that includes a retail store in Double Bay. The two kids also lead busy lives with school, and extracurricular activities, my daughter especially is extremely busy with her dancing, plus I own and run 3 businesses. Then, of course, there are the 7 animals we are also responsible for!
Because our lives are busy we need to be very organised and be thorough in our planning, which can be quite stressful sometimes. But we always make conscious decisions to make family time for each other, for example, we always have dinner together where we discuss and debrief on the day as a family. On the weekends, we try and make sure we do something as a family and ensure that we carve out quality time for each other.
Who is one person in your life you are thankful for and why?
I am thankful for everyone in my life because they are all there for a reason and have brought so much joy, knowledge and love to my life. But if I had one choice it would be my partner Nicole. She has literally changed my life for the better, in every way. I would not be leading the life I am now if we had not met and fallen in love. I am thankful for her and for our kids every day.
Where do you live and if we were to visit you what would you show us?
I live in Sydney – Eastern Suburbs. The first things you will see are my gorgeous dogs who would have already jumped on you and greeted you anyway! Then I would show you around our beautiful home because it was made with a lot of love and thought for our family, by my very talented partner.
What is your greatest talent or ability?
My greatest talent is my sense of self and my greatest ability is to be able to read people and situations, and the energy around me. This is something that is very important to me and something I am grateful for because it has kept me safe, strong, determined and has brought me to the life I lead now; a life that is filled with love, happiness, accomplishments and contentment (plus a lot of stress but nothing is perfect and it’s a small price to pay).
If you had the attention of the world for just 10 seconds, what would you say?
Search for contentment and if you find happiness then it’s a bonus! Always live your truth and live your life to the fullest.
If you could have any superpower, which would you choose?
This might be cliché but the power to fly! When I was younger I had a recurring dream, where I had the ability to fly. It would be amazing to be on your own in the sky, where you can free your mind and be one with the universe.
Follow Shannon on Social Media