The Women of Monaco Life, A Series: Anette Shine

AntteShine1Anette Shine, Wellness Warrior & Founder Sunshine Yoga Monte-Carlo

ML: How did your career take you from Denmark to Monaco, where you performed at the Casino?
AS: In Denmark, I was a professional dancer and fitness instructor back in the eighties and a member of the Danish Artist Federation. At the annual Variety Show, where the federation promoted all their artists, I met an international Danish equilibrist who had an upcoming contract in the cabaret Les Folies Russe Monte-Carlo. As he was without an assistant on stage for a month, I volunteered to come along and so I arrived in Monaco in April 1990. I discovered the fantastic show-ballet there and decided to try my luck and auditioned. Before I knew it, I was hired as a soloist dancer, left Denmark and I have been here ever since.

ML: You’ve lived in Monaco for nearly 30 years. How does it compare to life in Denmark?
AS: I love Monaco and the South of France, which offers everything I didn’t have in Denmark: warm weather all year round, lemon, orange and palm-trees, mountains and crystal blue sea near by, international glamorous atmosphere where one can speak a variety of languages and meet people from all walks of life. In the nineties in Monaco everyone knew each other, it was like one big family and we all integrated very well together. Everyone was out and about every night and invited by VIPs, life was truly magical.

ML: Where’s your favourite spot to find serenity?
AS: The walk between Plage Marquet and Plage Mala in Cap d’Ail is my favourite place to find serenity & recharge.

ML: What’s something people don’t know about Monaco?
AS:
Most people are surprised to learn that in Monaco seatbelts are not required to be fastened when driving around. Apparently Prince Rainier did not like wearing a seatbelt, so everyone else got to go free, too.

ML: What did you have in mind when you launched the International Holistic Fitness Centre of Monaco in 2003?
AS: My goal was to create a “Centre of Light” – a space for people who are interested in holistic health (harmony between the body, mind and soul) to meet, practice, learn and grow. I didn’t know much about the market, I just followed my heart’s desire and learned along the way.

ML: How did you manage to secure Monte-Carlo Bay as the location of Sunshine Yoga Monte-Carlo and can you share the name of some of your clients?
AS: “Sunshine Yoga Monte-Carlo” is the name of the company I founded in 2003 and it is still only in my name today. Dear friends in 2006 knew that the SPA Cinq Mondes was looking for a yoga company to move into their new location at the Monte-Carlo Bay and they kindly put me in contact. Now ten years later I am still there, thanks to my own efforts and dedication.

Over the years I have had the pleasure to have several known students such as Dame Shirley Bassey, designer Tommy Hilfiger, French actress Estelle Lefebure, model Victoria Silvstedt and some famous American actors who stayed at the Bay …

Photo: EMA ESPINOSA photography
Photos: EMA ESPINOSA photography

ML: Does one have to be spiritual to do yoga? Runners often squeeze in a 5km over lunch – can you do the same thing with a yoga class?
AS: One does not have to be spiritual to benefit from the yoga poses (asanas) However some people naturally become curious about the yoga philosophy and spirituality in general, and wish to dive deeper …

Yes, a lunch-time yoga practice can be fit in if one is dedicated enough to make the effort.

ML: You say that your programmes help increase self-esteem and confidence on a remarkable scale. How do you achieve this?
AS: You gain self-esteem and confidence when you dare express your authentic self and shine your light. This comes from practice and by observing the example of other beings who live like this.

ML: What could a newcomer expect from your class?
AS: Depending on the person, I suggest an appropriate class to meet the newcomer’s expectations. The Sunshine Team teaches out of passion, straight from the heart. We love what we do and do what we love, and apparently it comes through …

ML: Best yoga accessory?
AS: Apart from a good yoga mat, a block is very helpful tool to help with poses.

ML: What’s the most difficult part of running your own business? What is the advantage and disadvantage of being a woman in business?
AS: The hardest thing about running your own business is that you are never really off. Apart from teaching many classes, there are phone calls to be returned, answering e-mails, accounting, paperwork, schedule updating, marketing on social media, photo sessions, purchasing new equipment, planning special events and then advertising for them, meetings, website updating, newsletters and articles to be written … It never stops, but luckily I love it all.

ML: Pretty hectic schedule. How do you organise your day?
AS: I start teaching my first class at 8:30 am every morning, then another at 10, and a third one around noon. Sometimes I give afternoon and evening classes also. I get to physically practice every other day: I love being a student myself and never stop learning new skills. I never have two days alike, and that’s how I thrive.

ML: When you have time, where do you like to got out to eat?
AS: Restaurant NOBU is the best place to eat in Monaco, but I also love the music while dining in Buddha Bar.

ML: You have a physical, hands-on job. How do you feel about ageing?
AS: Best thing is that you no longer care about what others think about you.

The hardest, in my case, is the aches and pains coming from the fact that I was a fitness professional and dancer and pushed myself way too hard for decades, so my joints are now fragile.

ML: What’s the best piece of advice another woman gave you?
AS:
Until I was 21, my surname was Schjoenning (meaning “beautiful” in German) Then I met a Cypriot TV producer who told me straight out: “YOU ARE Anette Shine, understood? …  And so I had my passport officially changed in Denmark.

When I was looking for the right name for my company my dear friend Sue, who’s also a business owner, told me: “It should be SUNSHINE! Your name is Shine, so that’s how it should be … And so it was.

ML: What is something you’ve always wanted to try or do?
AS: Pole dancing, it’s so sensual, takes strength, grace and flexibility, and is just an amazing way of self-expression.

Article first published November 7, 2016.

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