Australian bombshell Penny Higgs is a pro dancer, an esteemed bikini model, a lover of memes and fitness, and a reality TV star. This busty babe with a bodacious bod has all the inklings of a successful, independent woman for girls to aspire towards, and is a lover of and actively engages in meme culture, making her the ideal gal for the modern man.
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Seriously, the gorgeous beauty is a bit of a jack of all trades, which begs the question; “Is there anything she can’t do?” That is exactly what we aim to find out as the Big Brother and So You Think You Can Dance star spins, swerves & busts a move onto yet another exclusive interview with us.
We’re so glad to have you back on Fitness Gurls Magazine. Tell us, how have you been since the previous feature? With COVID-19 in full swing, how has it affected your lifestyle?
Oh, you guys! I’m down in Melbourne, Australia and we’re just coming out of the toughest lockdown. My business has been closed, all gyms closed for 6 months. It’s actually been madness and a true test of creativity and resourcefulness being so heavily restricted. Although no other place I’d rather be locked up than my home.
Everyone loves a good sense of humor, and your love of memes is hilarious and it’s a great way for an influencer to connect with their audience. What are some of your favorite memes?
I’m actually addicted to memes and funny quotes. My phone is filled with screenshots of memes. The funniest ones are the ones I probably can’t post. I have my own dance school and teach children, so if some of the parents don’t have a sense of humor it might not go down too well. But do yourself a favor and head to @dancinpennymemes and I’ll drop some of my faves. Everyone needs to laugh every day.
You’re the owner of Dance Generation, where you work with people of various ages to help bring their passion for the art form into the world. What inspired your decision to start your business, and what has been the best aspect of running it?
Sounds cliché, but I just love dancing, it makes you so happy, it makes other people happy. It’s such a healthy outlet for the kids and I love teaching. The aim was always to make my passion for my job, so it never really feels like work. Yes it has it’s moments, I don’t love the admin side of things, but it’s so rewarding seeing the kids learn skills, grow and enjoy themselves as a result of being in class.
As a working artist have you ever experienced some trouble with the creation of your art, be it a shoot or your dancing routines? How do you work around it and think outside the box to keep it fresh and interesting?
Yeah definitely, I have to admit something I’ve never said out loud before, but to be completely honest it can be a fine line doing fitness bikini shoots and being a teacher, only because it opens me up to judgement and criticism from potential clients with my business. I work really hard to stay healthy and I am comfortable in my own skin for my age, so whilst people might judge, I have to keep doing me, creating and putting work out there whether it be Instagram or YouTube. Doing anything publicly opens us up for judgement, but on the flip side, sharing my work, videos etc, might help someone. It might change one person’s day and that’s why I’ll keep creating and sharing. I think keeping it real keeps it interesting, because there’s a lack of “real” out there these days. Real is always original and it’s also relatable.
With the rise of social media, a new culture of self-promotion and self-obsession has also emerged. It can be easy to get the wrong idea about the perfectionism and standard of beauty that IG promotes on a daily basis. As a professional model, what do you think about that?
I think social media can be a really unhealthy place not just for young minds, but all of us. It’s such a heavily filtered and unrealistic culture that’s shared on the internet. I think it’s so important to use our social media the right way and following those you can learn from, be inspired by, be motivated by, or uplifted. Following a heap of people who promote a seamless filtered life, not only is fake, but it’s bad for our mental health. It’s not attainable, it’s not real and many get caught in the trap of thinking we need to follow this trend, pretending we live the perfect life when it’s really full of ups and downs. Happy moments and sometimes blood, sweat, and tears.
Have your work out sessions been affected in any way due to the restrictions put in place ‘cause of the pandemic?
My workouts have been hugely affected by the pandemic, my main source of training was my dancing/teaching, and being active in the studio. So I’ve had to be creative in the backyard, but nothing compares to being at the gym or in the studio. I’ve had to really focus on healthy eating, as my exercise has dramatically stepped down compared to my usual active lifestyle. This pandemic has really tested our self-discipline, I’m sure you all can relate.
You’ve been on live TV for both Big Brother and So You Think You Can Dance, and thousands of people see you model professionally on the internet every single day. As a creatively driven person, is there anything else you’d like to try your hand at but have not been able to? If so, what would it be and why?
I shouldn’t make excuses, but I’m really wanting to focus on making more YouTube content and get my channel going. I want to talk about the health topics I’m passionate about. YouTube is a side hustle, you gotta keep creating even if no one sees your work. Video editing is time consuming, but I’m passionate about sharing my experiences and knowledge, so it’s something I need to get onto, no excuses! I’ve watched so many health related videos, I want to add to the community with my content.
Have you been reading or binging more shows/movies in the wake of the pandemic? What have you been reading/watching?
I’ve never really watched television, but I’ve discovered Animal Kingdom on Netflix and I am so hooked, but I’ll only allow a binge-watch once all my work is done. It’s my reward, it’s so so good!
What’s a good motivational quote that gets you up when you’re feeling down?
I do love a good motivational quote, there’s too many to mention, but here are some of my faves:
– “Start before you’re ready”.
– “Most successful people start their day taking care of their health”.
– “If you want to look good in front of thousands, you have to outwork thousands in front of nobody”.