I’ve been a dancer all my life. Despite saying, “I wuz” when people ask nowadays, I am, and will probably always be, a dancer.
I’ve danced since I can remember. I studied ballet as a kid at Broadway Dance Center when it was actually on Broadway, and did a summer program at LaGuardia High School for 7th graders. I eventually ended up at LaGuardia as a high school dance major, although truth be told, I was also accepted for drama, and had actually chosen to attend for drama. I changed my mind during the first week, and moved up to the 8th floor with Ms. Mathesius – if you know the lady, you probably just felt a little tight reading her name. She’s one of those people that you absolutely adore, despite her ploy to be tough and mean and teach you life’s lessons. Most people who graduated from the dance department will tell you how much they love Ms. Mathesius, even though she scared the shit out of us as students. Really, she wasn’t that scary. While at LaGuardia, I also attended Ailey on scholarship, and just KNEW that I would end up dancing for that company. I still remember the scholarship audition where Mrs. Jefferson came up to me afterwards to tell me that I had gotten so much stronger over the summer. *melt*. Anyhow, my contemporary dance career ended senior year when I suffered a super bad sprained ankle during an audition. After being out for a few weeks, in dramatic teenaged frustration, I never went back to dance at LaGuardia. I imagined that if I tried to dance again my body wouldn’t work, and I would suck. I had already received enough credits to graduate, and was only continuing in school to dance. So I graduated myself, and never went back.
While that ended my contemporary dance life, I was still determined to dance. Instead of contemporary, I focused on hip-hop, and would learn every dance move from every video I liked. I’m about to date myself – but 702 Steelo came on one day, and I was like… dassit… I need to be dancing in these videos, wearing baggy clothes, acting thuggish and shit! That’s so ME! So I did what any teenaged girl would do. I called Motown. While this probably wouldn’t work nowadays, I asked for the “video” department (does that even exist?), and told the guy I was a dancer and wanted to be in videos. Yeah. I did that. And I was very serious. And he seriously brought me in for a meeting the next day (I brought my mom with me), took a look at me, and gave me the choreographer’s info. That choreographer was Laurieann Gibson, and I was in rehearsal the following week working on a video for Assorted Phlavors (REALLY did not think I would find a link the that video – and almost sad that I did!) From then on, I started dancing in videos and on tours, and working with artists from Foxy Brown to Whitney Houston.
While I don’t pursue dance gigs so much anymore, I still choreograph, and artistic direct (and do yoga and kickboxing to release some of that dancer energy). Going back to grad school kind of stopped my dancelife, but that doesn’t mean I won’t bring it back. Meanwhile, here are some clips below of some dance shit I’m in that I found on the internet :-).
Foxy Brown – I’ll Be – guess who’s me.
Missy Elliott – Sock it To Me (Chris Rock Live) – no… I’m not embarrassed about this.
Olivia -Bizzounce (Soul Train)- quality sucks, but I prefer this clip to the actual video!
R. Kelly – Snake – yes. YES. I’m in there. I’m a dancer. Fast forward to the dance break. That should narrow it down for you. Also, my stomach was flat :-).
Random clip of me working on a contemporary modern piece for a friend’s show. Modern dance improv and shit.
Mariah Carey – Honey (LIVE Charmbracelet Tour in Paris) – If you’ve made it this far, I feel like I can share. Thing about this tour is that my dad died while I was on it. Mariah flew me home from Tokyo, and when I got to the funeral, there was the most BEAUTIFUL bouquet of flowers from her. She had lost her dad shortly before, and we shared a brief moment backstage before going out to perform this song when I returned to the tour. It was the Japan show, but still, this reminds me of it. <3
Ok, well… that’s all the dance clips I’m gonna do for now.