We did our first feature on Latoya Webley 4 years ago. Dancing and training all over the world we are excited to feature this Talented Toronto Native again, to see what she’s been up to. With over 17 years in the business, it’s an honour to share her valuable advice and experience to up and coming talent looking to live out their dreams not only at home but abroad as well. We caught up with Latoya live from L.A
A Toronto native of Jamaican descent, Latoya Webley has been dancing for more than 17 years and is recognized and known for being one of the best in her field. The extraordinary dancer has traveled the globe, bringing her preeminent dance talents and expertise to dance productions and workshops in her hometown Toronto, as well as in Japan, New York, Trinidad and Los Angeles. Latoya’s passion for dance and performing continued to grow as she began to explore and train in various styles of dance. To date Latoya’s style is a fusion of Hip-Hop, African, Dancehall, Soca and Street Jazz. Latoya’s formula of hard work and dedication to her craft has definitely paid off.
Latoya has danced for some of the worlds #1 artists. Gracing the stage w/ Rihanna (‘MTV Video Music Awards’, ‘Grammy Awards’, ‘Work’ & ‘Pon De Replay – Music Video’) 5th Harmony (2016 Latin Music Awards) Black Eyed Peas (‘Much Music Video Awards’ & ‘Japan MTV Awards’) No Doubt (‘iHeart Radio’) Elephant Man (‘BET Awards’) Ledisi (‘BET Awards’) Will Smith, Sean Paul, Drake, P. Diddy, Jill Scott, Flo Rida and Akon to name a few. Latoya has also toured with Shakira, JoJo, Jamie Fox, Kardinal Offishall and 50 Cent. Latoya has done both print and commercial works for Rihanna, So You Think You Can dance (Canada), The Discovery Chanel, Daffy’s Clothing, Miller Lite and Sony.
Latoya accredits her success to her supportive family and friends and all the amazing choreographers that have given her the opportunity to live, grow and shine on the stage… Tanisha Scott, HiHat, Fatima Robinson, Diana Webley, Luther Brown, Jae Blaze, Tina Landen and Adrian ‘Dubz’ Wiltshire.
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Nikki: Name 1 of your biggest accomplishments for 2014-15?
Latoya: Wow, there are so many. With regards to dance and choreography I would have to say working w/ the LA Sparkids, the official kids dance team of the Los Angeles Sparks, a two-time WNBA championship winning franchise. This opportunity came through a close friend and dance colleague for many years, Brandee Evans. Brandee is the director/ head choreographer for the Sparkids dance team. I’ve always been a huge basketball fan and supporter for the WNBA period. So it really meant a lot to be able to be apart of such an integral part of the WNBA game, which is the halftime show. It was such an honour to choreograph and train these kids. Another highlight and what I would consider an accomplishment because it was on my bucket list of artist to work with was when I was hired to dance in Will Smith and Bomba Estereo’s “Feista (remix)” music video, choreographed by Jae Blaze. I grew up watching ‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ and I have always been a fan of Will’s work. Will Smith is legendary dominating in the film and entertainment industry for decades. The various dance styles (African/hip hop/dancehall) and the athleticism demanded in this routine made the experience even more exciting and worthwhile.
Nikki: What is the biggest lesson you have learned as a Dancer/Choreographer this past year?
Latoya: I would have to say the biggest lesson I’ve learnt in the past year is to always remain professional. You never know what this industry will throw your way because it’s ever changing and unpredictable. Its important to understand the only thing you are in control of is yourself and your actions. Choosing to remain professional in every situation tends to result in a outcome of respect.
Nikki: What sort of opportunities made you move from Toronto to L.A?
Latoya: I’ve been living in LA for almost 4 years now. I was living in NYC prior where fortunately for me the work was flowing and very consistent. I was on Shakira’s promo tour when I first had the opportunity to visit LA. It was a short trip during the winter but the weather in LA had me hooked. I also saw the vast amount of opportunities that were available in LA, so I decided to make the move. Knowing that a lot of the award shows like the Grammy’s, American Music Awards, Kids Choice Awards, MTV Video Awards and so many of my favourite TV shows were being filmed and cast out here was also a great incentive. To date I’ve had the opportunity to work on almost every award show, Thank God!
Nikki: What advice do you have for dancers looking to move or travel abroad to pursue dance?
Latoya: SAVE YOUR MONEY!!! If you get the opportunity to dance and travel the world don’t forget to save. There is life after and in between dance and you want to make sure you are secure, comfortable and prepared. If you’ve have never left your city to live elsewhere and pursue dance then take that leap of faith. You can’t want change but you’re unwilling to change what you are currently doing. I always said to myself, “At the end of the day if all fails, I can always go back home”
Nikki: What sort of challenges did you face being a Canadian Dancer working in L.A?
Latoya: Aside from going through the hassle of renewing my work visa every couple years I went through what most new dancers go through when moving to LA. What can be those uncomfortable moments of establishing yourself as a dancer and networking, trying to get to know the dancers and choreographers in LA. I surrounded myself w/ amazing friends that have supported me since I arrived to LA so I’m sure that has a lot to do w/ my positive experiences in LA.
Nikki: Are there any upcoming projects, shows or classes for 2016 you would like to share/promote to the T.D.O.T. network?
Latoya: Yes! I will be heading back to Toronto for Summer 2016. I will be setting up a few Master Workshops while I’m in town. I also have upcoming workshops throughout Japan later this year. I am also helping out again w/ the LA Sparkids dance team for the 2016 WNBA season, so please lookout for the halftime show if you’re in town. I will be working w/ Nike and A World Fit For Kids (non-profit) promoting dance, health and fitness. There is so much more in the works, please follow my social media for future updates. Thanks!
THANK YOU Latoya for sharing your experience! We wish you nothing but continued success XO
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