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ABOUT

Photo: 'Phantasm' - JKing Dance Company

Photographer: Jaqi Medlock

For as long as I can remember, the one thing I wanted to do was fly. Climbing and jumping off anything I could find was all that mattered. At the playground, I was the kid climbing up the slide the wrong way, swinging as high as I could, and flipping off anything I could. I would swing on the monkey bars one way, then climb to the top and jump off on the way back. But when a 3 year old starts climbing and flipping off everything in the house, breaking furniture, the only thing left to do was put this kid in gymnastics.

It was love at first sight! A huge playground where I could flip and fly - where no one could stop my crazy need to defy gravity - what could be better than that? At 6 I made the USA Gymnastics Competition Team. The funny thing about being a kid in gymnastics is, all you want to do are tricks, so when the ballet teacher would come in, no one wanted to learn. I hated ballet and just wanted to be flying.

But at 16, while I was coaching the beginners, one of my students was playing on beam and did a double pirouette. Back then in gymnastics, we only did inside turns so when I saw this bizarre 'spin' I was fascinated. It was at that moment, I fell in love with dance. A few of the kids I coached said they needed tumblers for their acro class and I ended up enrolling in everything from ballet to tap to jazz and more. As my gymnastics career came to an end, I transitioned into dance.

But let's be honest here. Who, at age 16 starts to dance? Because I was 16, I was put into all the teen classes where everyone already knew everything. All I could do was tumble. I went home in tears every day, but I wrote down everything I learned and in my room I would practice everything for hours. Because of my gymnastics training, I was not only in competition with everyone else, I was also in competition with myself. I was devastated when my gymnastics career was over so I threw myself into dance and it changed my life. But again, who falls in love with dance at 16, and decides they are going to move to NYC and be a dancer. Everyone told me I was crazy, but I found a room for rent on craigslist, mailed my rent check, hopped on a plane (to LAX with a dream and my cardigan....just kidding) to JFK, with a suitcase and $500, handed the taxi driver my new address and I was off. 

Photo: 'Phantasm' - JKing Dance Company

Photographer: Jan La Salle

2010 - present

2010 - present

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