Who are you & what do you do?
I'm Nakiva. I dance. :) In real life, I'm an up and coming dog trainer! I love my job, but dance is the thing that breathes life into me.
Why & when did you start dancing?
I started dancing when I was 3, and training in tap when I was 7.
What type of dance do you focus on?
I do a little bit of everything: tap, jazz, ballet, modern, contemporary, and I fake hip hop when I'm feeling extra adventurous. But tap is definitely my specialty.
What's the most memorable dance experience you have had, & what made it so special?
I have so many special dance memories, it's hard to just pick one! One of my most memorable dance moments was travelling with the studio I grew up in: Dance! And all that Jazz! in Newport, Oregon. Once a year we would travel up to Seattle for an LA DanceForce weekend intensive. I was stretched (literally!) and challenged so much in those intensives, but it felt so good to be able to do what the choreographers were asking of me! And the weekend spent with the girls was always so much fun. One of the years that we went, we competed in their showcase and won a Platinum award for a tap piece. It was so cool to be recognized for our hard work among a group of incredible dancers!
Describe your company in one word:
What do you all enjoy doing when not dancing?
I love spending time with my dogs! Whether it's playing at the dog park, going on walks, working on new tricks, perfecting their training, or just cuddling on the couch...I love being with my dogs.
If you were to compare your work to a superhero, who would it be & why?
So here's the thing. I don't know much about superheroes, except that Hugh Jackman made an incredibly attractive Wolverine. Can I pick a Disney character instead? If so, I pick Rafiki. There is a lot of wisdom and knowledge behind what I do, but a splash of quirky weirdness, too!
What will you be presenting/performing at the fundraiser?
A tap piece, celebrating the unique joy of tap.
Why do you choose to make dance, and specifically why in Seattle?
Dancing makes me feel alive. I'm pretty introverted, so creating dance is a way for me to express myself without having to use words. There is incredible power in movement. I like creating dance in Seattle because of the freedom I have to do whatever I want!
What are some interesting/little-known facts about you?
I like dogs. And Disney. I'm terrified of pigeons ever since one landed on my head while I was in Venice. I lived overseas for almost a year. I'm fluent (almost!) in Italian.
You can follow Nakiva & her fur babies on instagram at @theshibalady!