As a kid I always wanted to dance. I would turn on the music and as they say, “Dance like no one’s watching” and in those moments I was free. I felt happy. I felt alive. I felt like me. I remember this one time I got to dance. It was my elementary school dance team. We danced to Montel Jordan’s “This is How We Do It”. It was incredible. I was in the front row. I even had a little solo. This was the moment I knew that I wanted to be a professional dancer. I wanted to be a performer. So I asked my mom for dance lessons. I was denied. Because where I grew up, boys don’t dance and we were also poor and didn’t have money for lessons.
So I resigned myself to dancing in my room, dancing at school parties, dancing at friend’s houses, block parties, any chance I could get, I would dance.
In high school, I joined the drama club and started doing theatre so I could dance to all my favorite musicals I grew up loving but because I couldn’t sing, musical theatre was out of the question. What’s a boy to do?
Back to dancing in my room again!
And then, one day during my freshman year of college, I ran across this posting on the MTV casting page “Have you ever wanted to be someone else? Have you always wanted to do something but was too afraid?” This was it. I knew the answer to both those questions so I filled out the form, told my story of always wanting to be a dancer, clicked send and went on with my day/life.
Two weeks later I get an email back from the MTV casting people saying they loved my story and wanted me to make a tape. So I borrowed a camera, played Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, danced on the bed and told my story and then mailed off the tape to MTV.
A month later, I got a call from “Tori at MTV who had received my tape and was very interested in my story!” I couldn’t believe it. She told me she was flying a producer out to do a casting tape of me. They wanted to hear my story, why I wanted to be a dancer and why I wanted to join my school’s all-girl dance team, The Sugar Mocs.
Soon I begin filming what was one of the hardest experiences of my entire life. I was expected to learn in a month what most dancers spend their whole life doing. I was taking ballet classes, jazz dance classes and every other form of dance to ensure I was good enough to make this team of trained dancers.
I’ve wanted this my entire life and I was determined to make this team. I had a lot riding on this training. Was I ready? Could I really make this team with only one month of training?
The day arrived. Here we go. It was time. My number was called. The music came on and I felt my soul smile and just danced my little heart out. I missed some of the moves but I was in bliss. Once my time was up, I waited for the results.
Was my name going to be called? What do I do if it wasn’t? I guess I wasn’t going to find out because my name was called. I made it. I made the team. Holy cow. I was going to be performing in front of the entire school at the homecoming football game. Not only that but my story was going to be told in front of millions, well thousands, it’s MTV not the Super Bowl.
Three months later, my episode aired on MTV and it was incredible. Not only did I get to live my dream of becoming a dancer but I also got to be on MTV. Something I’d always said I would do one day and I did it. From that moment I realized that anything is possible if you believe in yourself, take chances and never let anything stand in the way of your dreams.