From a living room in Los Angeles, DanceSpeak brings you candid interviews with the movers and the shakers of the global professional dance community. Get inside stories, advice, and blueprints to success, from dancers, choreographers, teachers, and some of the hidden gems whom have been in the industry for years.
128 Jamal Josef - Black Boys Dance Too. Pitfalls of the industry. Teaching the world to listen to your unique voice.
Welcome to episode 128 of the DanceSpeak podcast with dancer/choreographer/author Jamal Josef (Beyonce, Kirk Franklin, author of "Black Boys Dance Too"). I was sorely mistaken thinking that this episode would be around writing a book. Just a few minutes in and Jamal started speaking candidly on one of the major taboo topics in our world: men being sexually harassed. Needless to say, the ice was broken as Jamal began sharing about his journey from a work-study at the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio to choreographing for Beyonce at her acclaimed 2018 Coachella performance. We talk about pitfalls in the industry (like the ones that are often not brought up... at all), protecting yourself as a dancer/choreographer, and stepping 101. By the time we make our way to the final leg of the interview it is beyond clear that "Black Boys Dance Too" poured out of Jamal as a way to build new possibilities and normalizing diversity in dance. An overarching theme that my ears perked up to is all of the ways in which Jamal has created opportunities for himself and how even during the recording of this episode (during the great Covid 19 pause) there is so much that can be done to continuously create much needed products.
127 Exploring The Connection Between Dance and Politics with Emily Chamberlain
Welcome to episode 127 of the DanceSpeak podcast with dancer, choreographer, and activist, Emily Chamberlain. Emily first caught our eye with her call-to-action-for-voting choreography piece for the Civic Life Project. It is the perfect example of one of the tools we have at our belt as artists to be HEARD. Whether you are already registered to vote, or not there yet, this episode is for YOU. Okay, so the episode... we get... political! Yikes! We haven't before, but it's time to vote and so we explore some of the issues that are impacting the dance world RIGHT NOW. One of our favorite aspects of this episode is that we dive into why and how the dance community can be powerful in making real change. Enough with this blurb... this episode is poignant, short, and sweet (like your host). Please listen, share, subscribe, let us know your thoughts, and... VOTE!
126 Debriefing 'Cuties.' To out or not to out an abuser on social media. LA dance industry to advocacy with Leslie Scott.
Welcome to Episode 126 of DanceSpeak with Leslie Scott, the founder of Youth Protection Advocates in Dance (YPAD). Leslie Scott has held long-term teaching positions at the famed Millennium Dance Complex and Edge PAC in Los Angeles while also having years as a professional dancer under her belt. What we focus on in this episode is Leslie's pivot into advocating for the youth and addressing sexual abuse in the dance world while she was still in the industry. What had her go into a direction where she met immediate disapproval? Leslie speaks on her clarity and how she moved forward in the face of backlash. We then go into a conversation around the controversial Netflix featured film: 'Cuties.' In case this does not ring any bells, Cuties is a film that has received tons of flack for its provocative posters and dance scenes which have underage dancers front and center. While holding space for the gambit on thoughts on this, Leslie helps us unpack the conversation around this film existing in the first place and how we can approach what it might bring up for many. Last but not least we get into the recent outings of many teachers and community leaders around sexual abuse. Leslie helps us explore the impact of having much of this unfold in realtime on social media and ways for survivors and community members to best handle allegations when they come up. Inhale and exhale. There is a community to support survivors.
125 Ezama Lo'i Resident Poleography Trainer and Stunt Double for P-Valley. How she got to where she is, tomboyisms, knowing yourself feel-good-isms.
Welcome to episode 125 of DanceSpeak with Ezama L'oi (P-Valley on STARZ, Usher, Ne-Yo). Ezama's story takes us through her introduction to dance, becoming a professional dancer, and how she got into pole. Ezama's multifaceted career journey shows us how much is possible when you stay true to yourself and follow your visions. Ezama speaks to us as the resident poleography trainer and stunt double for the show P-Valley on Starz. She shares about how she became a part of the show, what it's like on set, working with Jamaica and Katori Hall, and insights as to what makes the show click so well. We quickly learn that there is nothing typical about Ezama or her journey. She grew up in a handful of places across the U.S., is a fan of pole dancing in sweatpants and grandpa socks, runs her own businesses, and embraces her tomboy side in the most unapologetic way. Ezama opens up about racism in Mississippi, her life-changing trips to Africa, and so so much more. Listen, enjoy, share, learn, subscribe!
124 NaTonia Monet - What It Was Like Performing On Broadway As COVID Hit. Surviving Devastating Auditions. Plant Motherhood.
Welcome to episode 124 with actress, singer, dancer, sketch comedian, writer, director, Cinnabon-lova: NaTonia Monét. Stage credits include Westside Story, The Wiz, Tina on BROADDDDWAY. TV includes Ray Donovan and Z: The Beginning of Everything (eowww). NaTonia opens up about her journey as she discovered her dream of Broadway, made the big move from the South to New York City, and how she moved through her fears to make her career happen. We learn about what it's like to go through the winding process of getting on a Broadway show and then an insider perspective on the experience of getting your dream job as Covid shut everything down. This episode leaves you with hope as NaTonia shares about keeping creative during the lockdown and coping in a very beautiful way. Listen, subscribe, and share!
123 India McGee. How to prepare to be in period pieces. Dancing and acting on TV. What gets lost with binaries. The good in releasing a dream.
Okay, my title is long here. Episode 123 with India McGee inspires a long title because her voice, her intelligence, her variety in topics shared is a celebration for the ears. Yes, I was hyped to hear about India's experience dancing and acting on Netflix's 'The Get Down' and BET's 'American Soul.' Yes, I was hyped to learn about her experience teaching at a top university (Emory). But what really gets me is India's empowered outlook and confidence in what can seem taboo to talk about. We talk facial hair on women, why binaries can be harmful, even the benefit of letting go of a dream (listen, we LOVE dreams, but this episode will give you another side). India shares with us ways to prepare for roles that take place in a different time, how comedy and improv improved her career, and... babies (yes, babies come up here too). Listen, enjoy, subscribe, and share!
Customer ReviewsSee All
Amazing and inspiring
As a performing artist breaking into the dance industry, this podcast is incredibly supportive and inspiring. It’s great to hear about the relatable struggles and the journey that successful choreographers and performers went through, as it humbles us and reminds us to never give up. Thank you for this podcast, it’s incredible.
An insightful look into the minds of the people behind the dance industry and the stories that brought them to where they are now!! Very interesting and thoroughly enjoyable.