You’re fresh off of your 2016 1st place win in the World’s Largest Steppers Contest “New Skool Category.” You’ve actually won a few times before. Was this win any different for you?
Hell yeah! Wait, can I cuss on here. Laughing] It’s a first place victory in a category that so many people have tried to get but have never succeeded. Me and Amanda did it, and in a short amount of time! We worked hard.
You shared the stage with two people many feel are the best of this era in Drew Alexander and Ann Hunter. What is that moment like right before the beat drops, when you’re looking across the stage at two formidable competitors?
At that moment I was saying to myself this is what you’ve been waiting for, let’s get busy, be great. It’s our time make the world belive it!
I loved the outfits. The disrobing part at the beginning made me think of “Coming To America.” I also loved that design on the back. Who came up with those outfits?
Me and Amanda came up with the idea. Her designer made her dress and embellished my suit. Shot out to Krissy Huffman … Darlinda Russell came through in the clutch and put the finishing touches on the whole ensemble. The ladies of U+Me=We put together accessories and tossed the rose petals we walked on in our entrance. Shot out to Lawrence Wartly who hand made my walking stick. Support your own people. The idea was to show the world who we really are – KINGS and QUEENS and to be that in every facet of our lives.
You wasted zero time gloating about your win. [Laughing] Does it make it more fun when you actually exercise your bragging rights throughout the year?
In the words of Black Cool “I got 365 days to stunt.” It’s definitely more fun. The Internet has no chill … shot out to #teampetty. Honestly, this is the first contest I’ve been around that it wasn’t a whole lot of controversy. I’ve only been hearing it about the Walking Category. Besides that it’s been laughter and and fun which is good for the soul. It also makes the other contestants step it up next year to come get us. Should make for a great contest.
Do you remember them teasing you on Facebook telling you you didn’t have a shot? Did that make this victory any sweeter for you?
Yeah I remember, they went hard too. (Laughing) But they say “ain’t no fun when the rabbit got the gun.” I’ll be taking shots at them all year! This is only the beginning. What a sweet victory it is.
You have a big party coming up in November – The Shindig. For those who haven’t attended, tell us a little about the weekend and why people should check it out.
This isn’t your normal steppers set, this is an all out party with a western theme. It was built on fun and that’s how we will keep it. The U+ME+WE team (Sherry, Derek, Marshawn, Michelle, Nikisha, and myself) make sure you are comfortable and we treat you like your family. We have so many surprises and treats this year you have to come to see! Go like our U+Me=We Facebook page or go to umeumewedetroit.com
You and Sherry will also be out in Cali for Harlem Nights hosting the U+Me=We Steppin workshop, which I know was tons of fun when I participated. How has teaching been coming along for you?
Teaching has actually been great. Sherry Gordon and I work as a team. She’s been grooming me since my inception. (Laughing) The Information that Sherry has and gives is mind boggling connected with the innovative freshness that I bring. It’s nwork team like it!
Ohhhh yeah, speaking of teaching, my childhood friends, Marc Wilson and Kim Danzy won in the Beginners Category. I know you and Sherry put a lot of work into them. What did you think about their victory?
It was awesome! Marc and Kim were great canvases. We just made suggestions and gave them the tools to use, they built their own dance with hard work. I think a good coach just pulls out what’s already in you! Greatness was already there we just helped the world to see!
Any closing thoughts before I let you two go?
Congrats on your wedding, jumping the broom soon. You snagged a good one! And thanks for reaching out. We had the “Inquirer” type of writer hit us up, but this not the year of drama! (Declares the King … Laughing) Men lie, Women lie, numbers don’t. The numbers say we’re 1st place we wear the crown, if you want it come take it off our heads!