Many artists impressed me rising up. I bear in mind watching Michael Jackson carry out “Billie Jean” at “Motown 25.” My cousin Chris and I had been obsessive about Michael and idolized him. I additionally love Rena Butler! I first noticed her carry out with Kyle Abraham whereas I used to be at Florida State. She was the one girl within the forged. I’ll endlessly be impressed by her grace, energy and stage presence.
Having unimaginable artists to look as much as has had a huge effect on my profession; nevertheless, being a dancer hasn’t all the time been a simple selection. Pursuing dance professionally has innate challenges past those who happen onstage; particularly pay, particularly at first. There have been occasions the place I didn’t know the way I used to be going to pay for my subsequent meal and nonetheless needed to be able to carry out with a “can-do” angle.
Like many, I had self-doubts. I questioned if I actually needed to pursue a profession on this house however knew deep down that I wouldn’t be fulfilled by the rest. I remained decided. I’m repeatedly cultivating a apply of exhibiting up, doing my greatest and trusting that I’m sufficient.
I’m presently within the Broadway forged of Bob Fosse’s DANCIN’, and getting to experience the position of The Poet/Spirit in “Mr. Bojangles” has been such a blessing for me. It’s a second the place I get to carry house and acknowledge the legacy of Black dancers that paved the best way for my friends and me. It appears like I’m channeling their vitality and sharing it with a wholly new technology of audiences.
The casts I’ve been fortunate sufficient to work with have all the time been distinctive, and dealing with extremely gifted friends makes each facet of a efficiency higher, even these I’ve carried out lots of of occasions. I like seeing excellence—like watching the Olympics, there’s an unimaginable vitality in reside efficiency that, when mixed with compelling materials, is magical.
I imagine that “the way you do something, is the way you do all the pieces,” and it has been a tenet for me each on- and offstage. I wish to do my greatest, each as a dancer and in my private life. For me, dance is religious. The second when the performers and collaborators come collectively and inform a narrative is a valuable and fleeting second that can by no means occur the identical method once more.