Taiwan ballroom dancing queen Serena Liu dies at 44

TAIPEI (CNA) — Forty-four-year-old Taiwanese ballroom dancing queen Serena Liu (劉真) was pronounced dead late Sunday night at a Taipei hospital, after failing to recover from heart surgery she received last month.

Liu passed away at 10:22 p.m. on Sunday, Taipei Veterans General Hospital confirmed Monday morning.

Liu, who had a narrow aortic valve, underwent heart valve repair surgery on Feb. 7, during which her heart stopped beating. She later fell into a coma and was placed on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) device, the hospital said in a statement.

ECMO is used to provide cardiac and respiratory support when a patient’s heart and lungs are unable to provide the perfusion required to sustain life.

Because Liu’s heart function failed to recover after the operation, on Feb. 13 she was fitted with a paracorporeal pump, a ventricular assist device used by patients with acute and chronic heart failure, according to the statement.

However, she required emergency operations late February and early March due to cerebral thrombosis and cerebral haemorrhaging, side effects of installing the device, the hospital said.

Liu, graduated from National Chengchi University and was widely known as Taiwan’s “queen of ballroom dancing.”

Liu started ballet lessons when she was a child and continued her studies for 12 years. She began to learn ballroom dancing at the age of 18.

After graduating from university, Liu turned down a job offer from a foreign bank, at the age of 23, to pursue her love of ballroom dancing.

She started out as a professional ballroom dancer by attending small-scale dance competitions and later became a household name after performing with well-known entertainers.

Liu entered the entertainment world as a dance teacher on Taiwan’s variety programs and talk shows before going on to act in dramas and host TV programs.

She is survived by her husband, singer Shin Lung (辛龍), 48, and a 4-year-old daughter nicknamed Ni Ni.

Taiwanese ballroom dancing queen Serena Liu (right) and her husband Shin Lung.