Yurena Polanen is performing artist, dancer, actor and athlete born in the Netherlands to Surinamese and Dutch Caribbean parents. Growing up in Barbados, she focused much of her time on practicing sports and played tennis and karate. Nevertheless, Yurena always had a love for performing and she took part in various pantomimes, first as a dancer of the ensemble and later as a principal actor.
At 16 years of age Yurena moved back to the Netherlands, where she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Physiotherapy. Still having a keen interest in sports, she began playing rugby and later became a part of the National Development Team on their road to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Yurena moved to Australia shortly after and originally planned to continue playing Rugby. However, it did not take long before her inner passion for the performing arts took over and she decided it was time to once again follow her heart and focus on the creative industry.
Since 2017 Yurena has worked diligently to establish herself as a dancer and actor. Initially focusing on the styles closest to her roots, such as Afro, Dancehall and Latin, Yurena was intrinsically drawn to Samba, feeling a natural connection to the essence and Afro centric roots of Brazilian culture. With an open mind, a willingness to learn and a natural flow, she took on Brazilian dance and has never looked back.
With natural talent and a strong commitment to growth as a dancer and performing artist, Yurena is a valuable addition to the Rio Projekt ensemble. Her positive energy, athleticism and passion shine through on stage.