Sapphire tell us about yourself?
I was born in Brooklyn, NY then I was raised in Easton, PA and have lived here ever since. My family is from the West Indies which makes me a first generation American, Trinidad, and Tobago. This brought some cultural barriers for my parents not understanding different things with the ways of American culture. However for me blending both cultures allows me to have perspective and gives me purpose. My parents moving to the states allows me to explore so many options, and opportunities which I am very thankful for. I am also a recent graduate from Cedar Crest College majoring in marketing and business administration.
"I am a recent graduate from Cedar Crest College majoring in marketing and business administration..."
What inspired you to get into dance?
I didn't find dance, dance found me when I was 11 years old. A friend that I met in middle school introduced me to dance by inviting me to join a step team. So I took this opportunity and attended my first rehearsal and the rest was history. It was something that I found to be a foundational piece for who I am as a person. A music artist named Ciara inspired me as well when I saw her music video
What challenges do you face as a dancer and how do you overcome them?
My confidence to dance above my skill level is a challenge for me. The goal is to challenge myself and surpass my potential. The thinking I want to have when I'm dancing is knowing that my skill level will not determine my confidence level. This kind of thinking increases my performance. To overcome this challenge I have to focus on my abilities and realize that presently I am here to grow. Pushing myself in that present moment and staying away from shying back is going to help me to break that barrier and really give me the momentum I need to start running.
"My skill level will not determine my confidence level.."
What motivates you to keep going and how can you help others to grow?
I fractured my right ankle in my senior year in high school. I wasn't able to perform for 5 months which was very difficult for me because I was used to dancing everyday. Not being able to dance the same most certainly left me defeated. However this worked out in my favor because this became my motivation to build myself back up, and go beyond what I expected from myself before. My cousin who played a role with my motivation said to me "Your not feeling like yourself because you're not dancing." These words inspired me to get back up and dance once again.
It's important to except being comfortable in the state of being uncomfortable. I want to help dancers focus on growing in the area of being themselves and on personal development. The negative opinions of others and yourself does not determine the quality of your movement and does not define who you are as a dancer. By sharing this with my fellow dancers I can contribute to their growth and inspire many as I too continue growing..
Please be sure to check out My City Dance Series Episode 4 "Story of Sapphire"