What’s Missing?


There comes a time in everyone’s process where they reach a stand still. In my experience this comes after a world wind of good things. But in those low moments, you know those moments of doubt and deep contemplation, how do you dig yourself out of this frenzy? In those moments I find myself scrambling for an easy fix. Like what job could I apply for that will bring me more money? In those moments I want to abandon all faith in myself and my process to satisfy my greed or maybe just the desire to live comfortably. Living comfortably…what does that even mean in this day and age? Moving on… So this morning during my mental frenzy I had to stop and ask myself, what’s missing? When you decide to commit to a long process you unknowingly begin to build this formula for yourself. Well at least I have. Not a cookie cutter plan but you begin to mix a bunch of things together hoping you find a solution. For example, for this past year I have done just about everything I could to be fully immersed in the dance world. I took class, taught classes, performed, choreographed, and landed a few internships. Sounds like I’m headed in the right direction for someone who wants to pursue arts administration right? I think so too, however I’ve been falling short lately, which is no surprise, but after you’ve been #Winning all year it’s hard to take some L’s. So back to the question, what’s missing? My answer, I don’t know. In moments like this it’s good to break down the equation and work it a different angle. The thought of breaking anything down and starting from scratch is enough to make me scream! Patience can carry you but so far! Perhaps it’s not about what’s missing and more about just doing more in what I’m already involved in? What do you think? (PSA: I’m rambling because I find myself feeling this way too often these days and I feel the need to share. And possibly relate with some of you.)

And some days when deconstructing doesn’t work I vent out loud to my mom. Usually just to hear myself say the words “This is hard” and “I’m struggling” but “I love what I do” and “I don’t want to sacrifice my soul for comfort”.

“I don’t want to sacrifice my soul for comfort.” This thought alone pulls me out of the frantic internal mess I created. That’s why artist do what they do anyway right? So that their soul is fed before their pockets are?

My train of thought has stopped.

……To Be Continued




Intensify Me!: Pushing Progress Winter Intensive

Hey Folks! It’s been a while but I’m back with some exciting things coming up. Beginning tomorrow, I will be participating in the Pushing Progress Winter Intensive. It’s been a while since I danced that much so pray for a sistah! It is my hope to take away from this intensive, a better understanding of myself as an artist. I am ALWAYS developing my style but there are times where artist hit a wall because nothing offers inspiration. It’s also a bit intimidating for me because I’ve always been easily discouraged, especially around people a lot more talented than me (you gotta be honest folks!). But with this journey I am forcing myself into things that make me uncomfortable. I am also hoping this intensive introduces me to different styles of movement. It’s easy to stick with the teacher you know and the movement that looks best on you, but I’ll never improve that way. Overall, I’m excited and look forward to sharing the experience with you all afterwards. Who knows, I might even make friends! Stay tuned!



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A Night At Gibney!: DoublePlus

As I continue on this journey I am beginning to realize that it is just as important to see what our upcoming artists are working on. A year ago I honestly wouldn’t have given a series like DoublePlus as second glance but that was when I knew no better! That being said I will be in the building tomorrow (Dec 2nd) at 7:30 for a split bill performance curated by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. Artists Marguerite Hemmings and Katrina Reid will be performing solo works, and although I know nothing about them I am excited to see what both have to offer! I am not sure whether I will review it yet but as always stay tuned and I hope to see you there!


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One Day In Hip Hop Class

Professionalism. As an artist I have used this word more than I can count. What does it mean to be a professional? Here’s a hint, it’s more than just showing up, wearing the proper attire and kicking your leg to your face. MUCH more. I learned that lesson one day in hip hop class. I was like 15/16/17 years old and I suppose as a class we weren’t dancing full out and my instructor stopped the class to let us in on a little secret. As a budding choreographer himself, he knew what we had yet to learn about the dance world. While critiquing us on our lack of energy he said (and I am paraphrasing like crazy) “Go full out now because you never know who you will meet again in the future” MIND BLOWN!!! If nothing else I took that little gem with me through high school then college and now with my own artistic journey. I pretty much drill it into my dancers because IT IS REAL! If that went over your head, basically he was saying always be on your best because you never know is watching and will remember you. And when it comes to the dance world you will continually run into the same people.

I would like to think that I was blessed with the opportunity to direct a company because I have lived my life by this statement. As a dancer it came natural to me considering I was raised in a dance school where professionalism was asked of us at an early age. However, I find it is an interesting experience as director. I have encountered dancers with different backgrounds (culturally, and artistically) and some days its a hard pill to swallow when I find out not everyone thinks like me ha! (Off record, I am a Leo so everything that doesn’t go my way is a hard pill to swallow, but I digress.) Right but now I am in a position to be understanding and somewhat neutral but also enforce what it means to be professional. For me, professionalism is about being PRESENT, in every sense. Physically, spiritually and mentally. Even on the days where life is rough, that is even more reason to SHOW UP. I don’t know, maybe my dance upbringing was unorthodox but illness was only cute for the baby class, but if you could walk, you could bring your butt to class! #ImJustSaying. Oh you want to go to that party? After class boo! Oh you’re going on vacation? There’s always the weekend AFTER the June concert (never before). So you can see I have been programmed to BE THERE and I expect nothing less from those I work with.

Lastly, but never least, energy is huge to me. Sure you want the beautiful long legged creature who can contort and contract for the GAWDS but if baby has a stank attitude YOU GOTS TO GO! I’m not a diva and will not employ a diva. That energy will never have a place or purpose so therefore it’s held at a high standard for me when making my decisions to work with people. It took me a couple of times to realize that the space in which I create should not be compromised for the sake of a fierce foot. I’ve told my dancers a few times “I can help you become a stronger dancer but I can’t change your personality”. I am lucky enough to work with a group who understands my needs as a creator but there are always learning moments for both parties.

More to come on this topic as I continue my creative process…


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Obstacles Don’t Disappear

Obstacles don’t disappear, they simply take on another shape. I’ve had a lot of these “ah ha!” moments lately, in which I realize that I’m never really out of the “corner” that I have unconsciously backed myself into. When I was in school, it was the constant battle of whether to pursue a career in the arts or science. As usual it came down to what made more sense financially, so I picked science. It did make a lot of sense though. I am a dancer who is surrounded by other dancers who sustain multiple injuries during their career, so why not do physical therapy! Right, that was cute for the next 5 years it took me to get to a place where I could actually apply and “Voila!” I didn’t get in…..anywhere.

So I spent those 5 years constantly telling myself that I wouldn’t make it in the dance world, so I might as well be there person who helps those who do. But I didn’t get into school. I spent those 5 years telling myself that my choreography wasn’t good enough, so I might as well channel all my efforts into becoming this scientist of sorts. But, like I said, I didn’t get into school. Here I am after those 5 years of stressing with NOTHING to show for it because….I didn’t get into school. I chose to leap over academic hurdles, instead of leaping across the room, because let’s face it, I’ve had the same ballet technique since I was like 10! It was a never ending internal battle that I made excuses for to convince myself that this would work itself out. Well it didn’t, at least not in the way I thought it was supposed to. I forgot to mention that this “world ending” rejection happened earlier this year. Honestly, I felt it coming. I didn’t necessarily want to accept it but I did plan for it by applying to another program that I thought could fill the void. It didn’t. Here I am excited that I could cover up my failure with something less glamorous, but still in the medical/health/science type field. I was counting down the days until I would embark on this not so cut and dry journey. I just knew I would make a career for myself, make the money I wanted and wouldn’t feel the sting of failure. I knew wrong. 2 months into the program I decided that ripping out my heart would have been less painful than sitting through another class where I was uninspired. *Cue panic attack*.

How did I allow myself to get to this place of such uncertainty? Every adult not in their 20’s expresses how the 20’s are easy and you shouldn’t stress and blah…blah…blah. That’s adorable! Because last time I checked, I didn’t live in the middle of nowhere with $5 rent due (not that I pay rent right now anyway #SorryNotSorry) but you get my drift. New York is hard. Everyone is looking for the next “come up” so that they can “stay up” so for me to leave midway through a program that could potentially put me on a stable path was hard for me. It wasn’t necessarily hard because I thought I was quitting, it was hard because I had to face the facts; I am an artist. I could potentially never make the money I want because I love my art so damn much. I could live (rent free) with my parents for the rest of their lives because I need to invest in my Soul, more than my bank account. I could fail over and over and over again because I am my biggest critic (and the dance world ain’t that friendly either). I could never be satisfied with anything that I produce but that is FAR better than never having tried. So now I have chosen Art. I have chosen to take the risks and overcome the next obstacle in my way; myself. I am done facing obstacles that make no sense to my life and more importantly I am done trying to not be an artist!

To be continued…


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Recap: Abraham.In.Motion

As announced earlier this week I had the opportunity to see Abraham.In.Motion perform at the Joyce theatre. Keyword of the evening: PHENOMENAL! Entering the lobby alone, I see a sea of familiar faces among many strangers but as usual, I feel right at home. I sat in the furthest, and highest corner of the mezzanine area which, might I add, is now one of my favorite seats in the house. It became my little cozy corner as the show progressed allowing me to fidget and react as I pleased. I did my usual read up on who’s who in the playbill (because let’s be honest, we all size each other without knowing it just by reading a cute little bio!) and did a (few) quick glaces around the space to see anyone I knew. The thing about going to these shows alone is wanting the chance to at least throw a shady “hey girl’ someones way so you feel “known”. But I didn’t have the juice this night! Typical. Moments later two older women joined me in my lonely row at the start of the show and had plenty to catch up on but shhhhhh house lights down, stage lights up!

Kyle Abraham opened the show with an intro phrase (either improvised or rehearsed) accompanied by pianist Kris Bowers. It wasn’t hard to spot his signature spiral turns, with a hint gyrating to contrast the melodic sound flowing out of the piano just behind him. As soon as he started, he finished making way for the first full piece The Quiet Dance, which played to it’s title well. With a combination of subtle movements and gestures, the piece illustrates what it means to communicate without the ability to communicate. What I enjoyed most about the piece was the synchronization. Yes, I’ve seen enough pieces where that dancers are on one accord, moving together, in and out across the stage, but this was different for me. I think what made it unique was the fact that each dancer looked different, physically and culturally. It was interesting to see the tall slender African American woman dancing in sync with a short Caucasian male and somehow telling the same story. I appreciated the diversity of the company, especially with what came next.

Absent Matter became THAT piece for me. You know that piece that resonates and leaves such an impression on your being that you can’t imagine a world where someone isn’t performing it. Well that was what this piece did for me. It was simply beautiful and effortless dancing but the message is what stuck with me afterwards. From my perspective it seemed to illustrate the minority experience in our country today. Most notably the shootings of unarmed black men and women. What started out as just going with motions of reality and accepting what will be, quickly turned into frustration and somewhat rage. Did I forget to mentioned that they are still performing to live music. Every now and then there was background recorded music but the live musicians absolutely set the mood of not just the dance but of the minority community! If you didn’t know by now……. Mood: “I’M FED UP WITH THIS SHIT!”.  It was powerful to say the least. I won’t sit here and tell you what they did step by step but just know I SAW and HEARD loud and clear. It’s a funny thing for me because when I see protests around our country in search for justice it has no affect on me. But when I see that same “protest” through movement it becomes very clear and for a moment I feel like if the entire world saw this there would actually be change. I know this is naive but that is how much I was affected. It’s absolutely worth seeing if….well if you’re a Human!

The Gettin’ ,which followed after intermission, seemed more or less the same theme but maybe set in the 40 or 50’s based on the costume choice. Unfortunately when you follow a piece like Absent Matter, its hard to pull away from it’s idea so I might be a little bias in my perspective. Anyway, the musicians are now set up on the stage, where as previously they played from the audience closer to the stage. Not a big a deal to some but it made a huge difference to me to see them in the same space as the dancers. As the dance began what I saw was a battle of privilege (or lack there of). I say that because in a particular section there was duet with one black man and one white man. It seemed like they were challenging one another and by doing so they are also trying to connect despite their culturally differences. But then (it seemed to me) the white male decided to give up. Even after all this dancing and connecting, he was able to say I don’t want to try anymore and walked off (literally) but the black male had to stay on stage and join his fellow community and in sense “kept going” because he didn’t have the same luxury. WHOA that was a lot for me but there was someone in the audience who didn’t read that at all and perhaps in my own discomfort I made it up to suit my view of the world. The piece as a whole was great but this section had the most affect on me.

APPLAUSE APPLAUSE! ( I stood up because the minority were still the minority in that audience sadly, and someone needs to stand up every time!)

Following the performance, there was a talk back that I didn’t stay for but I am hoping more pressing matters where covered other than the usual “Why did you start dancing?”. Well, that’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed MY take on the performance and I hope you have the opportunity in to see these pieces to form your own opinion! Until next time!


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These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things! <3

Although I make it seem as though this is a brand new journey for me, I have been invested in the arts for a quite some time. I began dancing at the age 10 at the Edge School of the Arts(ESOTA) in Queens, New York. Turns out it was the perfect place for me because here I am 15 years later teaching alongside my former instructors! I teach a group called the Tiny Tots, baby “professionals” if you will, and they are the most amazing group of children I have ever encountered. They have taught me so much about myself as an artist and teacher. I learn something new about my style of teaching every single year and I’ve been doing this since 2007! Needless to say I am grateful for the opportunity to guide them and them to inspire me!




Aside from the worlds brightest small people, I also artistically direct Herbert H. Dance company at Lehman College (my alma mater!). I majored in Dance and Exercise Science during my time as a student and I wouldn’t trade that experience in for the world! I met so many amazing people (dancers mainly) and keep in touch with many of them to this day (because really its not like I graduated 10 years ago or something!). In that time I was a dancer in Herbert H. Dance Company under the leadership of Jamali Corniel. Even if I hated dancing (which I NEVER did) I would come back every season just to work aside her. It was a dope experience every time. Now 6 years later (I think) I have been given the greatest opportunity to lead HHD. I don’t mean to brag but really I have the most amazing group of dancers ever! All so very dedicated and eager to be artist, it was almost surreal when I first took on the gig. This is my second season working with the company and I already see as a unit we are 10 times stronger than last year. Yay US! Working with the company actually helped me decide what I really want to accomplish in this life of mine. I’ll share that little tidbit as time goes on but for now just know I’m EXCITED! Stay tuned for what Herbert H. Dance has coming up in the very near future!


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That’s all for now. I hope you stay tuned because like always, there’s more to know!


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A Night at BRIC!: Ronald K. Brown/ Evidence Dance Company

A dear friend of mine introduced me to the Ronald K. Brown dance company a few years ago. This will be my 3rd time seeing them perform and I am just as excited as the first time. I’ll be attending the Friday 8:00 PM show at BRIC where they will be performing Two-Year Old Gentlemen, Clear As Tear Water, March and Water. I’ll keep you posted on my thoughts of the show by as always I hope to see you there!


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A Night at the Joyce!: Abraham.In.Motion

Oh yes! Mama loves a nice night out at the Joyce Theatre! Abraham.In.Motion has been a favorite of mine for quite some time. I never miss a show when they are in NYC (well maybe once, but I knew no better!) so I made sure I was in the house this time around for so much needed R&R. I’ll be attending the Wednesday 7:30 PM show where they will be performing The Quiet Dance, Absent Matter, and The Gettin’! I may follow up with a quick review of my thoughts and feelings but other than that I hope to see you there!


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