Born in Rouen, France, Gwen is a dancer, choreographer, model, business owner, teacher and overall a renaissance woman. She is a renowned graduate of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and is the director of her own dance company: The Gwen Rakotovao Company (GRC).
She started modeling in 2009, after being a contestant in the Miss Diaspora Models pageant, representing the country of Madagascar.
Since then she has been featured in multiple magazines in France, the U.S. , Madagascar and the Caribean (Amina, Femme Magazine, Toujours Soolid Magazine…) One of the highlights was her appearance in Essence Magazine in 2010.
Her affable personality and look caught the attention of Neguswear, and she became the “Face of Neguswear” in their 2010 and 2011 campaigns – appearing in ads, video and their website.
In 2011 Gwen was invited by fashion designer Mialy Seheno to walk for her at the Slovakian Fashion night and she has been shot for Seheno’s new collection in France.
In 2012, Gwen finished 2nd runner up at the Not Just Fashion contest. After 5 month of competition and among 53 models from all over the world.
As a dancer and choreographer, Gwen started her career in Normandy, France where she had the opportunity to work with many choreographers such as Luc Moka and to dance in renowned stages such as the Viva Cite Festival and the Transeuropéenne (Zénith de Rouen).
In 2004 Gwen moved to Paris to study at the Rick Odums school where she became a prominent member of the Rick Odums Ensemble, with whom she performed in many venues in Paris and its greater metropolitan areas.
In 2007 Gwen moved to New York to study at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. After Graduation, she joined BodyStories/Teresa Fellion Dance in 2009 and soon became a soloist and Associate Artistic Director. In addition, Gwen has worked with H.T. Chen Dance Company, Regina Nejman, Whitney V. Hunter and Brian Carey Chung.
As a teacher, Gwen has been invited to teach Master Classes at the renowned Conservatory of Rouen, at the Juste Debout School in Paris and around the world in the French Caribbean islands, Antananarivo and Bangkok. Gwen has taught modern and others contemporary techniques. Her performed style and Class also include Jazz, hip hop and African influences.
In 2012, Gwen received the gold medal at the Biarritz International Dance Competition with Thierry Malandain as president of jury
Since 2010 Gwen is the patron of the Malagasy soccer Club http://www.mada- sport.org. And the ambassador of the Eco-Sys Action Football Cup http://www.ecosysaction.org Helping them in their mission to empower communities to sustainably benefit from their ecosystem and aiming to develop the Malagasy soccer.
And in 2011 Miss Rakotovao launched the humanitarian dance program Masimihanta in Madagascar which took place annually at Vontovorona.
Biography published by Venicia Guinot (Tropics Magazine – South Africa)