Professional Dancer Reveals How She Got to Share a Stage with Beyoncé
What has it been like merging your passion for dance and fashion? Do you feel this has created more opportunities for you?
As a professional Dancer I am always doing photo shoots. When I get the opportunity to use my own wardrobe I get to utilize and showcase my style and love for fashion. Last year I modeled and danced in the Kenzox H&M Fashion show where I was featured on Vogue’s website and H&M’s website and Instagram. It was a dream come true to merge my two passions. I also was featured in Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine showcasing dance and loungewear for women to wear in a business setting. My talents have defiantly created more opportunities for me.
What was your greatest worry as a dancer?
As a dancer we are always criticizing ourselves and comparing to others. I always compared myself to other dancers saying I need their feet or flexibility but now I focus on what makes Annellyse amazing and enhance my strengths in my dancing and radiate confidence in myself because there is only one me.
Tell me a little more about what it was like for you comparing yourself to other dancers, what made you more confident in yourself? How has that affected your skills as a dancer?
In auditions I always see what I am up against and put myself next to the dancers that will push me to work harder. I focus on my strengths and always stay true to that. What made me more confident was focusing on my strengths such as my stage presence and using my long legs to their best ability. Dance is a craft that you will never master but that’s what makes the challenge so fun. There are so many techniques I train in Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary, Hip Hop, and Jazz and although I am better in one than the other I always focus on my strengths in each class I take to be the most versatile and confident dancer I can be.
What do you feel most accomplished for in your life right now?
I feel most accomplished for moving to NYC from Miami at the age of 21 immediately after college to pursue my dreams. I had the opportunity to dance with the sister company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II and travel the world to perform and teach dance. I am currently dancing with one of the top agencies in NYC, Bloc Talent Agency and I was accepted to my dream school Columbia University for grad school to pursue a degree in Nonprofit Management in the Fall.
What was that journey like moving to NYC at a young age and getting to where you are now? What motivated you when you felt defeated?
The journey of moving to NYC was always a dream of mine since I was a little girl so when it happened I was more than prepared because I had been traveling to NYC for dance summer intensives since I was 14. Occasionally, I would get homesick and overwhelmed but I would remember how lucky I am to be living my dream and doing what I love every day.
What was it like having the opportunity to teach other dance students overseas?
I love teaching dance and sharing all that I have learned over the years training to give back to younger dancers. My most memorable experience was teaching in Martinique. There was a language barrier but dance terminology is a universal language so the dancers caught on well. You can really see the passion in dancers especially those in foreign countries. That is what inspired me while on tour.
If you could do one thing differently again what would it be and why?
While I was on tour with Ailey II I was traveling to Spain, Germany, France to name a few and I wish I explored more and gotten everything I could from experience.
What would you say has been a significant moment in your life?
A significant moment in my life was when I got the opportunity to dance in the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards with Beyoncé. It has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl and I did not want that experience to end.
So you danced with Queen Bey, how did that opportunity come about for you and what was your favorite part about being a part of that experience and working with Beyoncé?
When I completed my 2-year contract with Ailey II I was a little lost and didn’t know what I wanted to do next after attending many auditions and not having any positive outcomes. After 2 months I received a call from my director of Ailey II saying Anthony Burrell, who was one of the choreographers was looking for dancers for a big job and I immediately stopped what I was doing and head to the rehearsal to find out I would be dancing for Beyoncé in the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards. My favorite part of this experience was getting to be surrounded by so many inspiring women who have the same dreams as mine and we got to live one of them together. This is the dance opportunity that got me recognized by Bloc Talent Agency. This opportunity reminded me that God always has a plan and when you least expect it he will always show you the way.
How would you describe your style?
I like to dress very classy with a little bit of sexy. I love wearing crops tops and high waisted pants, that is always my go to outfit.
What are three must-have items in your wardrobe?
I must have chokers, a good black/nude heel, and a lot of crop tops!
Who are two of your role models and why?
My father because he is self-driven, loving, and always strives for greatness. My close family friend Ella who basically has been an aunt to me. She is so selfless, caring, and exemplifies all the qualities in what a strong woman is for me and the kind of mother I want to be one day.
By: Armelis D'Orville