"But you must remember to not give up..." Story told by Gee Barclay
Gee tell us about yourself?
I’m originally from East Orange, NJ born in Newark hospital. I moved to Easton, PA when I was 7 to 8 years old. I wasn’t the best in school growing up I never really liked taking educational endeavors. But I was always in tune conscious wise. Life smarts was my thing but book smart wasn’t. However what pushed me to take high school seriously was a relationship I had with a peer that took school very seriously. She was always making sure that I stayed on top of my game. For extracurricular activities I got into drumming. Music played a big part in my life growing up. While drumming basketball and Go-Ju coexisted as well in my life. With this brought a lot of motivation to continue in these extracurricular activities. These very things shaped me to become a well rounded artist and also started a journey for me to get into dance.
What inspired you to get into dance?
What inspired me to get into dance was watching Chris brown videos at a very young age. The video that caught my attention from a choreography standpoint was the music video called "YO" performed by Chris Brown. From there I would try to mimic the dancers in the video to help me understand the art of dance. Being in the community I didn’t have the knowledge of any male dancers being heavily involved within the dance community at that time. I first started to try to dance publicly when I was in 6th grade. I was being motivated to do this by my longtime good friend Jahsim. This was when we now partnered with each other to keep our passion for dance alive.
What challenges do you face as a dancer and how do you overcome them?
The challenge that I face is trying to be accepted. The only person that needs to accept you is you. You can’t overcome your opinion and fear in yourself until you overcome people’s opinions of your artistry. Another challenge for me is finding a source. The source could be a job, a friend, and parents that could keep your financial support going with your dance life.
Finally another challenge for me is managing my time. At times I would overbook my schedule and I would have two or three appointments at the same time. To overcome these challenges as a whole you have to grow into being a mature person, practicing mature lifestyles that you can be inside and outside of dance. In addition sustaining a healthy lifestyle and relationships.
"The only person that needs to accept you is you..."
What motivates you to keep going and how can you help others to grow?
Personally I’ve had a lot of nay sayers in my immediate family. It’s not much support mentally, physically which can be an overbearing challenge. But you must remember to not give up and that this is only half the battle. When you get to the point in which you worked hard for it will all make sense. Even when you scratch the surface it will come full circle. This mentality is what motivates me to keep going.
People in the dance community should
know when to have a foot in and when to have a foot out. You have to know who is here to support you and who is here to compete. Focusing on yourself to grow and have patience with yourself is key. You have to realize at the end of the day no man can say that they are better then you because you love what you do. Because you love what you do no one can take that way from you....
Gee is a featured dancer in My City Dance Series Episode 6.