Perspective: Interview with Mckenzie Jordan Lewis

Cover photo: Mckenzie Jordan Lewis by ShocPhoto

Age: 14
Where are you from? Los Angeles
Where do you currently train? Debbie Allen Dance Academy

How and when did you get your start in dance?
I started dancing when I was 3.5 years old at Norma's Academy of Dance. After dancing at that studio, I transitioned to Anthony Burrell Center for Dance and then The Atlanta Dance Academy (TADA). We moved to Los Angeles in October of 2021, and I currently train at Debbie Allen Academy of Dance.

I know that you are an ambassador for Brown Girls Do Ballet! What has that experience been like for you, and what do you hope to contribute to the dance world through your ambassadorship? 
Being an ambassador is very exciting, especially knowing that I am helping shape the future of dance. In addition, I love knowing that I can be a role model and leader for aspiring dancers. There are also mentors to help guide us if we have questions or if we need advice.

Mckenzie Jordan Lewis by ShocPhotoMckenzie Jordan Lewis by ShocPhoto

I also know that you launched the Mckenzie Jordan School of Dance recently! Can you share with us a little bit more about this and how it started?
Sure! I started the Mckenzie Jordan School of Dance last year during the pandemic. I had an idea to teach beginning ballet to young girls. I love teaching, and I started teaching online during my mom's summer school program. The gym teacher had resigned, and my mom needed another class. So, I volunteered to teach dance and fell in love. 

My mom created a course for me through her online academy, and then we made it official by turning it into a business. The goal is for me to learn the importance of building a business so that I will have savings when I get older and leave a legacy.  


What does a typical day in the life of Mckenzie look like?
A typical day in my life looks like me waking up early, getting ready for homeschool, practicing, creating content for my Instagram page, and then getting ready for dance practice during the evening. On Wednesdays, I teach at my online academy.  


What genres or styles of dance do you enjoy most, and why?
I enjoy Contemporary Ballet. It's such a soothing style where I also get to improv and move freely.


Where do you ultimately hope to take your career as a dancer? Do you have any performance goals, dream companies, or other dance aspirations?
My dream is to dance with a company like Alvin Ailey. I would also love to create dance merchandise, start a mentoring program, and continue working on my business. 

 Mckenzie Jordan Lewis by ShocPhoto
Mckenzie Jordan Lewis by ShocPhoto

What are some of your other interests and hobbies outside of dancing?
I love to cook and read, and when I am not doing those things, I like to roller skate and play board games with my family.


What is one thing you always keep in your dance bag?
I never take my ballet shoes out of my dance bag!


What’s a step/combination in class that you always look forward to doing? What do you feel most proud of in your dancing? 
I always look forward to doing Grand Allegro. It consists of challenging steps, but I love showing off my lines. What I feel most proud of is my ability to perform and bring joy to people when I dance.


What’s something you’re actively working to improve upon in your dancing? 
I am working to improve my strength and flexibility.


What is a challenge you've faced as a dancer, and how did/do you work to overcome it?
My hair is a challenge as a dancer. I have locs, and it is hard to put in a perfect bun. I have learned to embrace it and feel confident in my hair. 

 Mckenzie Jordan Lewis by ShocPhotoMckenzie Jordan Lewis by ShocPhoto

Do you have any advice for other aspiring artists? 
If I could say anything to a dancer, I would say, "Have a positive mindset, encourage other dancers, stay focused, don't be afraid to take risks, love yourself, and enjoy the gift of dance." 


Can you describe why you feel it’s important for you and all dancers of color to have dance shoes and attire that match your skin tone? 
It’s important for me and other dancers to have dance shoes and attire that match our skin tones because it acknowledges that there is diversity in the world.  The beauty of the human race is that we are all different. Knowing that PointePeople creates products that match my skin makes me feel confident as a dancer.  


How do you #FeelGoodDanceBetter?
I #FeelGoodDanceBetter by creating a positive mindset. In this world, it’s important to be positive and not let anything get to you. I always say positive affirmations to get the day going so that I can feel good about myself and who I was called to be. 

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