A Child With Dreams And Inspiration
As a child I always knew I loved to dance.
Before even knowing about training, making routines or the professional life, I just danced.
I use to run around the dining room and throw myself back onto my cousin Quwan's leg and told him to catch me. Little did I know that was called a "Lay Out," it all came so natural for me.
My mother said that while she was in labor with me, my father played classical music, jazz and other different kinds of music. Since I came out of her womb, I was always dancing.
I would bob my head to the music and push myself up to dance before I could walk.
By the age of two my parents put me in West African dance and ballet classes.
This was when I started to learn the fundamentals of dance.
Through my father, a professional Jazz musician and educator, I was influenced by different genres of music and often around different kinds of artists. Of course I didn't understand at first what being an artist was about, but I remember those people floated around me and influenced me during my developmental stages as an artist.
Since my parents were not together, I went back and forth between two houses. On my Dad's side, I was always around the artsy scene and on my mom's side, it was my grandmother aka "mama" who had the southern flavor and played piano while singing and dancing. As I grew up, I was in school plays, talent shows, and on dance teams.
I use to choreograph for my friends in the talent shows and I would easily make up dances on the spot that others wanted to learn. I was already a choreographer before I even knew what a choreographer really was.
My mother couldn't afford to keep me in ballet class consistently when I was a kid, so I became more of a street Hip Hop dancer and listened to Hip Hop and Reggae music.
I watched music videos all the time, learned the choreography and performed it in front of the mirror or for my mom, dad and siblings.
I loved watching and listening to Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, TLC, Salt N Pepper, Brandy, Black Street, Boys 2 Men, Kid N Play, Quad City Djs, Master P, Patra, Shabba Ranks, MC Hammer, Aaliyah, Missy Elliot just to name a few. I watched shows and movies like FAME, Flash Dance and Fast Forward.
Throughout my childhood, my dream was to be a backup dancer for artists on TV and in movies.
I wanted to dance with all of the greats!
With this inspiration I was hungry.
While attending Beverly Hills High School, I danced in the Black Student Union. When I moved in with my father, during my junior year, I became the dance captain for Oxnard High School's marching band, as well as choreographer and dancer for OHS Black Student Union Dance Team. We turned out the rally's, dance parties, school events, and dance battles.
Along with all of this I was an all around athlete. I was a gymnast, basketball player, ran track and field and a competitive cheerleader. I give thanks for my younger days because I stayed active doing what I was passionate about.
My senior year in high school, I started training again in ballet and jazz, again this prepped me for college and the real dance world.
I knew that dance was what I wanted to do as a career, but I was also taught that "Education Is Key."
At age 17, I graduated from high school, started college, and was on the hunt for an agent and professional work.
I signed with my first agency DDO at the age of 18 and then my professional dance career officially began.
At the end of the day, dance is my natural gift. I've been dancing forever, and it has been my passion since early childhood and it is still my passion today.