A dare… that’s how all of this started…
I was twelve years old and my sister’s dance studio needed boys for a production. My friend, Justin, dared me to dance, and the rest is history. I didn’t quite realize it at the time, but dance would save me. It’s never just been an outlet for me, dance has always been something my soul needed.
Throughout grade school, let’s just say that academics were never my strong suit. It was always a constant fight to stay inline, to keep my grades above failing. As a sophomore, it got so bad that I thought about dropping out. Fortunately, it was when I was accepted into the Governor’s School for the Arts Dance Department in Norfolk, that my passion for dance started to flourish. The only reason I stayed in school was because I feared losing the opportunity to dance. Dance was the drive I needed to pull my grades up, to better myself. I can honestly say, if it wasn’t for dance I would be high school dropout.
I came to VCU as a dance major in 2013, and by 2014 was out of the department. Throughout my freshman year, I never thought that being a professional dancer was a possibility. I was convinced that I needed a “Real Major” to get a “Real Job” to support myself.
God, I was such an idiot!
I got the real person job, I enrolled in a real major, but still I wasn’t satisfied. I was too busy filling my soul with things I was told I needed, not what my soul was saying it needed.
My soul needed to move, to create, to collaborate, it needed to dance. It was around this time that I reconnected with Starr Foster. I first met Starr in Norfolk, when she was a guest artist for the Governor’s School for the Arts. She’s known me since before I knew what a tendu was, so when she asked to join Starr Foster Dance, it was a blessing and the opportunity I didn’t even know I was looking for.
I have been with Starr Foster Dance since 2015, and I am still in awe of her creative mind and her ability to combine so many different disciplines. From my first concert, “Page To Stage”, when she crafted dances based off short stories submitted by local artist, to our most recent endeavor at TheatreLab, “Spitting Image’, where she created dances inspired by painting from East Coast based artists, the material and movement between the dancers is powerful yet intimate. After just a few rehearsals, Starr and the fellow company members quickly became family. The company has even given me the opportunity to pursue my passion for music in the form of composing original scores for our performances.
I am very excited for the 16th Annual Mid-Atlantic Choreographers Showcase in April at The Grace Street Theatre. We will be performing two new works, alongside artist from the all over the region. Over the past few years, I have been able to work for VCU and the Richmond Ballet as a dance accompanist to bring my two passions of dance and music together.
I am the youngest of three; my older sister is the dancer while my older brother is the musician. Throughout my childhood, I was torn between the two because I looked up to both of my siblings so much. So I just decided to do both!
VCU has played such a huge roll in my career. It’s been a facility to fuel my creativity and hone my craft. It’s allowed me to create scores for dancers, collaborate with movement, and find some of the most talented friends while I’ve been here in Richmond. The students and faculty continue to inspire and push me to break my technical boundaries as both a dancer and as a musician.