After work, Yasmine Ghoniem from interior design studio YSG dances the samba


No, so it’s pretty intense. Heels change the way you move. My first performance is in September, so I have some time to practice.

And the management of the wardrobe?

It’s tricky because of your helmet. Imagine putting something on your head and keeping it silent, then everything under your neck goes wild.

When Ghoniem is not dancing, she plans to launch her own line of furniture. Renée Nowytarger

It looks quite different from your ballet training.

It was quite frustrating actually, because the ballet is very strict and rigid and the samba is totally the opposite. You need to retrain and rethink the way you use your body.

Do you have a dance partner?

I was working with a partner but just wanted to dance and not have to think of another person. Samba allows you to do this. Lessons are like a reload button. I come solo, dance solo and get into my groove.

You plan to launch your own furniture line at the end of the year – impressive considering YSG is only eight years old.

We’re working on a few different pieces that can sit together, that reminds me of my heritage, and that saves space. I like the smart design. It must be really functional, but it’s amazing if it looks good too. And it will be made in Australia.

Describe your design style and approach.

My end goal is always to evoke feelings rather than a fixed visual conclusion, so spending time alone in a space before any presentation to a client is fundamental. I guess I’m kind of a choreographer because the space occupies my mind as much as the furniture and the props. I’m thinking of travel indoors – break areas, key access points, high traffic areas, and trips from one area to another.

Are you nervous about going on stage soon?

We’re on stage every day, aren’t we? Whether it’s pitching a concept to a client, singing in front of a crowd, or performing a three-minute routine in front of strangers, it’s all about connectivity to the human mind. I give my all to everything I do. But I can live off high performance for days, there is no such thing.

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Joseph E. Golightly