This is a very inspirational story about Jennifer, well worth watching
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Reporter: Adam Harvey
Jennifer Liu duxed a top school, obtained a perfect tertiary entrance rank of 100, and has a PHD in cancer research. But she also loves to pole-dance and reporter Adam Harvey finds out why the medico is better known as ‘Minx’.
LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Jennifer Liu is one of Australia’s smartest young women: dux of her school, a PhD in cancer research and a recent medical graduate.
You might be surprised to know she’s also a competitive pole dancer who goes by the name of “Minx”.
Adam Harvey reports.
(footage of pole dancing event. Music: ‘Enter Sandman’ by Metallica)
ADAM HARVEY, REPORTER: They don’t teach this at medical school. Perhaps they should.
JENNIFER LIU, PHD, MEDICAL STUDENT: I think doctors are in a profession where there’s a high rate of burn out and stress and you do need to go home and switch off or do something completely different and I think that’s what dancing gives for me.
ADAM HARVEY: By day, Jenny Liu is a 27 year-old trainee doctor at Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital.
JENNIFER LIU: Hello, how are you?
JENNIFER LIU: Just having a listen to your heart.
Her heart sounds are dual, no murmur and her chest is clear.
ADAM HARVEY: She’s been a high achiever since she came to Australia from Shanghai aged five.
JENNIFER LIU (to patient): Hi, Pete. How’s it going?
ADAM HARVEY: She soon won a place at Sydney’s most competitive high school.
JENNIFER LIU: So you’re ready to be discharged today.
I worked really hard and by the end I graduated high school with 100 UAI, dux of the school and then went into medicine. First four years, came first in medicine as well.
The main thing is there was nothing wrong with the appendix and then, when we looked around, there was lots of inflammation around the small bowel and a Meckel’s diverticulum…
ADAM HARVEY: She’s already earned a research doctorate for investigating links between folate and bowel cancer. Now she’s won the University of NSW’s highest honour, the University Medal, for topping her graduating class.
JENNIFER LIU: This year I will be graduating from a medical degree but because I already have a PhD some people would call me “Dr Dr” Because I’ve got two doctorates. (laughs)
ADAM HARVEY: But there was something missing.
JENNIFER LIU: Halfway through my research PhD I realised that I really needed to do something different: something that would challenge me while I was young so I’m not spending my entire twenties studying or working in a lab.
So I decided to sign up to with Bobbi’s Pole Studio.
BOBBI, BOBBI’S POLE STUDIO: We’re located here in the city. There’s a lot of financial girls. Lawyers, accountants. We have a lot of medical people doing it as well. I think it’s just attractive to them because it’s a little bit of a sway from what they have to do day-in, day-out.
Over right shoulder, right foot. Left leg up. Bend that leg that’s up. Back to centre so you’re on both shoulders.
ADAM HARVEY: If you find an aerobics class challenging, this is not the sport for you.
BOBBI: Slide right arm under. (to camera operator) I’m glad you’re getting this one. (laughter)
POLE DANCING STUDENT (Voice): This has to go in. (laughs)
BOBBI: (laughs) And then change to right split.
ADAM HARVEY: For Jennifer Liu classes weren’t enough. She applied her research skills to her hobby and, under the stage name “Minx”, she began entering pole dancing competitions.
JENNIFER LIU: When I was beginning, I used to analyse tricks and used to take screen shots of how moves were done and make notes and then practiced at home. So for me I think my success with pole is quite an intellectual process.
ADAM HARVEY: Jenny’s proud parents weren’t quite sure about their daughter’s new sport.
You weren’t worried that it was too sexy or anything like that?
ROWENA LIU, MOTHER: Oh, yeah. First time little bit worry. This… you know, in Chinese tradition not like this before. But we’re now more open.
ADAM HARVEY: But now they’ve embraced it, installing a pole for Jenny in her grandma’s bedroom.
JENNIFER LIU: I think my parents have brought me up from a young age to be very, I guess, studious. It’s the motto of “work before you play”. And I’ve seen its rewards from working hard, so I guess persistence is part of my character.
ADAM HARVEY: The persistence has paid off. Jenny Liu has won her way through to the pinnacle of competitive pole dancing.
MC, MISS POLE DANCE AUSTRALIA FINALS: Let’s give it up for Minx!
(cheering and applause).
MC: Looking beautiful, lady!
ADAM HARVEY: Miss Pole Dance Australia at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre. This is the big time. Jenny’s backstage stretching.
The big moment’s finally arrived, Jennifer – or do I have to call you Minx now?
JENNIFER LIU: Ah, Minx. Yeah, Minx is good. (laughs)
Competing really pushes me to excel and to work on things that I probably wouldn’t be able to motivate myself to work on if I wasn’t competing. And it gives me a goal and deadline. So it’s a bit like an exam, really. (laughs)
ADAM HARVEY: Minx didn’t win, but just making these finals is an extraordinary achievement. And for a pole dancing amateur with a lot on her plate, it’s unheard of.
MC: One more time for the beautiful Minx!
LEIGH SALES: Adam Harvey reporting.