I was born and raised in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania! I grew up as a dance competition kid, which is what got me into dancing in front of audiences. It allowed me to become more comfortable, and confident in front of them as well.
My first inspiration for dance came from watching the classics, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, and Sammy Davis Jr. Those men were the reason why I went to a dance studio in the first place. My dance studio’s name was the Abby Lee Dance Company, which is where I received most of my dance training, along with dance conventions like NYCDA, JUMP, NUVO, etc. I started out as more of a tap dancer, but realized how important ballet was once I had started doing the Youth American Grand Prix competitions. That’s what really helped contribute to my technique.
Besides dancing, I love to play the drums, and piano. Drums and tap dancing are already so cohesive, it just kind of happened. Piano I’ve always had such an appreciation for, I can’t really read music that well, but I still enjoy playing by ear! Music is basically what moves us to dance, so growing up with those instruments along with dancing, just helped my musicality that much more!
My first big job was Newsies on Broadway! What an exciting, and beautiful experience! I had actually auditioned for them through both open, and invited calls a few times before I had gotten it. And after some of those auditions, I had danced a Newsies performance at the Fred Astaire and Adele Awards. Therefore I was dancing for Chris Gatelli(Choreographer) and Lou Castro(Associate Choreographer) as they taught us the intension, and choreography of the show. That gave such great exposure, and experience! I was able to do that through Joe Lanteri(NYCDA) which was the same dance organization that I mentioned earlier. The world is so small! I believe that’s how I was put on their radar!
The people that have influenced me most in life are the classics that I mentioned before. Along with my family, my dance teachers, the friends that I’ve danced with growing up, and of course the Lord. Anyone you meet in life can potentially be a big influence! I think its up to us to figure out who the good ones are!
As I always say, my favorite sayings “Do what you love!” “Do what makes you happy!”