You and Ed really had to dance a perfect dance to win that night and you did. What kind of pressure did you feel to execute both your dance and your tricks flawlessly?
No pressure. I wasn’t given the spirit of fear. Been working so hard on that moment, confidence starting coming out of my sweat dear. [Laughing]
[Laughing] What is it like competing with Ed? What is his energy like before you take the stage?
Surprisingly, his energy is very settle before our number is called. [Laughing] And he never sits down. Competing with Ed is … different. [Laughing] But it’s okay ‘cause I’m different! We’re just you’re different kind of normal. There’s NEVER a dull moment, even when we’re both tired … as you can see from the video Sherry posted. [Laughing]
What do you feel is the lady’s role in helping to win a Steppers competition?
I think, the lady’s role in helping to win a Steppers competition is to complement your partner but without allowing them to overshadow you. However you figure out how to do it, DO THAT. Also, chemistry with your partner helps. Ed is my Godbrother and goofy, so there’s no problem there. [Laughing]
This is our first time interviewing together, so I’d be interested to know what women, if any, you admire in Steppin. That is to say, who inspired and/or inspires you to improve?
ANN! When I first started dancing she was one of the first ladies I couldn’t take my eyes off of. She had sooo much personality and I couldn’t understand how she would do so much with her feet and get back on beat. She’s DOPE.
Sherry Gordon, of course! That’s my dancing mama. She use to slap the mess out of my legs when practicing. But it works. [Laughing] I love how poised she is in her dance. And also, her ability to follow sooo well. I love her, but I’m coming for that spinning contest win at the Heritage Ball. [Laughing]
Everyone I see inspires me to improve. Male or female. Either you can’t really dance and have been dancing for years (makes me feel like I will never get like that) [Laughing]. Or you’re a new comer who’s really good (makes me feel like I don’t want to you pass me up)! Or if you’ve put some years into this dance and you’ve made it your own (makes me want to get to that level). And lastly, those who may admire me. I don’t want to stay on the same level. I want to grow and inspire someone else to keep growing. If I’m at a Set, I‘m inspired.
I also want to ask about your photography. I follow you on Instagram and I love your photos. How did you get into photography?
Thanks! It all started with my camera phone about 5 years ago. I’m into all forms of art. And I’ve always been interested in landscapes and buildings and such. So, I would capture different landmarks and buildings around Detroit and post photos every now and then. The feedback I received was great. One day someone messaged me about doing some head shots. I told them I’m not a photographer. They offered money, I borrowed my brother’s camera, and I’ve been shooting ever since. [Laughing]
[Laughing] I’m a little out of shape but I know I look better than Feo, so why has he been in the “Greeen Chair” and I haven’t. [Laughing]
[Laughing] ‘Cause you haven’t informed me you were interested in The Greeen Chair sir. [Laughing] Come get one! Next time you’re in Detroit.
No doubt! I’m holding you to that. Last thoughts …
I have a lot of thoughts about this dance and its community [Laughing], but I’m a narrow it down to what I think is most important. I believe Chicago Steppin is a fun and social activity. Even stress relief for some. I hate when there are some who want to make it into a high school thing. Meaning, you have your bullies, your popular crew, your unpopular crew, the people who like to follow the popular crew, etc. We all are still learning, [weather] you know it or not. Let’s not make this Steppin Community into something it’s not supposed to be. If you don’t like someone, don’t be a cancer to the rest of the community. Everyone has their own unique way of dancing. And everyone hears the music differently. As a baby stepper I hate some of the unattractive feelings I feel walking into some sets or cities, and the majority of it is from the old heads – the ones that are supposed to be paying it forward. Let’s not let Steppin die out. Let’s not be afraid of evolution. Let’s keep all the politics out of it. Can we just have fun. [Laughing] That is all. [Big Smile]