Seven years ago, Yvonne Cardoso took a 12 hour flight departing from the country of her birth, South Africa, to United Kingdom – the country she would call her second home – in a mission of making it big in the international entertainment industry with her multiple God-given talents: Dancing, modelling and cooking.
This was Yvonne’s dream and the main reason she emigrated to the country where the Queen of the Common Wealth & United Kingdom resides.
Today the beautiful and talented Yvonne, 41 – who is married to a world established choreographer Francis Alejandro Cardoso originally from South America, Venezuela – is an international star whose name is attached to an impressive number of UK titles, namely: Miss Top-Model Curve 2014; Miss Fashion Curve 2014; Miss Best Evening Wear 2014; Miss Best Swim Wear Curve 2014; Miss Beauty British Curve 2014.
More interestingly, these titles earned the ever-smiling Mrs Cardosso a spot in the Miss Universe Curve competition to be held in Trinidad and Tobacco late this year.
Furthermore, her name could also be traced on the Britain’s Got Talent, X Factor UK and other UK television programs.
In an exclusive interview with The Voice of SA (TVOSA), Yvonne opens up about her incredible journey, highlights of her career and the African country known as the Rainbow Nation.
Tell us about your family background?
I am South African. My parents were born in South Africa and my grandparents are from Portugal (Madeira).
How long have you been dancing and modelling?
Yvonne: Ever since I can remember! I used to miss my classes at school, to dance and my first ever modelling teacher was Andrea Stelzer (former Miss SA). Dancing professionally I started 20 years ago when I met my husband, who is a professional dancer/choreographer (head of Dance Flavourz), I auditioned for him and 6 months later we got married.
Who has been the biggest influence in your career?
God, because without Him we are nothing, my parents for their love and Support. My husband for his love and guidance and my boys that give me the strength to carry on without all of the above Influences in my life I would not be able to pursue my career.
Apart from modelling and dancing, what other talents do you have?
Cooking, and making people laugh.
You are the main dancer of Dance Flavourz (Semifinalist of Britains Got Talent 2010), how old is Dance Flavourz and how was it like being in the semifinals of such a massive competition?
Danceflavourz started 7 years ago when we moved to the UK. The feeling of being in the semi-finals and having a critic as well-known as Simon Cowell giving you a standing ovation was an overwhelming feeling. It made me feel like I can do this; I can do anything I put my mind to.
Which other television appearances have Dance Flavourz featured on?
X Factor 2011; Cook Me The Money (ITV Cooking Show): Love and Marriage (Drama Series): Got To Dance 2013 (Sky): The Sporah Show (Sky)
You have recently won 4 UK awards: Miss Top-Model Curve 2014; Miss Fashion Curve 2014; Miss Best Evening Wear 2014; Miss Best Swim Wear Curve 2014; Miss Beauty British Curve 2014. What an achievement! Which award are you most proud of?
All of the awards were a great achievement for me, but I think that winning the title was the cherry on top as now I can be an ambassador for curvy woman all over that think because they have curves they cannot be in the entertainment and modelling industry. As in general people think that size 10 and below is the norm for the industry which is not true.
When you entered the competition did you see yourself winning all four of them?
No. I was so nervous; I didn’t know what to think.
And how was the feeling like after winning all four?
I was shocked and overwhelmed, my little one aged 7 thought I had become queen of England after they put the crown on me (lol)!
What do you think made you stand out from the rest of your competitors?
God has an amazing plan for each one of us. He Leads us, we have to take the steps and I think when you have God in your life you have an outward glow for all to see.
You have been asked to take part in the Miss Universe Curve which will be held in Trinidad and Tobago on the 2nd of November 2014 and you will be the only one representing the UK. What does this mean to you?
Being the first one to represent the UK for such a massive event is a privilege, one that I hope will make South Africa and the UK proud.
How does one prepare herself for such a massive event?
Focus, dedication and a lot of preparation mentally and physically and putting God first in EVERYTHING it puts things into perspective.
What are you most looking forward to experience?
Going to a country I have never been to before, meeting amazing people and letting the experience open up doors for others wanting to pursue the same profession.
You will be in SA from the 31st to the 14th of September to open up a franchise, which is children’s dance classes for kiddies aged 2 to 5 years old, taking the syllabus that you’re currently teaching in the UK over to South Africa. Tell us more about that?
After the semis of Britain’s Got Talent started a syllabus for children aged 2 to 5 years old teaching them different styles from hip hop to latin, bollywood, cheer-leading, cowboys, African, etc. What makes the classes different is the variety of styles taught, enabling the little ones to learn the basic of each style in a way that is fun, entertaining as well as providing exercise.
Do you have enough people working on this project in SA, or will there be any job opportunities?
There are definitely job opportunities: managing, teaching, directing and secretarial.
When you left South Africa and immigrated to the UK seven years ago, what were you future plans and what did you want to achieve?
Our future plans were to make it big in the industry, as they say, if you can make it here (UK) you can make it anywhere. I wanted to make a difference.
What do you miss about South Africa?
OMG! EVERYTHING! The weather, the people, the wildlife, way of life, but most of all my family. I miss them soooo much. Thank God for Viber and Skype I phone them every day.
What makes you proud to be a South African abroad?
It makes me proud to know that I have come from a country that has come a long way and has set an example where everyone can get along and love one another as we all bleed the same colour.
What do you tell people about South Africa when travelling?
I tell them it’s the most beautiful country in the world where the culture and wildlife you can only get in Africa.