This weeks Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Kareem Byfield. I met Kareem over 10 years ago when we attended the same High School for the Arts majoring in their Dance Program. I was aware of his Passion at 14 it does not surprise me to see all the amazing things he’s continued to do into his adulthood. Kareem is disciplined in Hip Hop, Tap, Street Jazz and Modern. Although he was given the opportunities to train he believes and I quote “Its all about the soul and passion that drives the person. That speaks louder and stronger then any years of training ever will to me.” Turning his passion into a Dance Career that spans over 18 years, Kareem has 14 years of teaching and choreography experience as well as being a qualified adjudicator across Canada. He founded his own company Grace N Style in order to teach his students and he is co owner of the Company JKS with his business partner Stephan Dickson. Kareem’s recent venture into writing and poetry has brought forth the release of his book Poems, Stories & Thoughts of an Adult Mind NOW AVAILABLE on line. Its an honour to shout out one of my fellow Cawthra Dance Majors and give credit where its due. Kareem continues to pursue different projects to inspire and keep the arts alive in the GTA. Check out what Kareem had to say in this weeks shout out!!
Bio written by Nikki
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Kareem: I can remember the first Tap class I took when I was about 7 or 8 years old. The girls were mean but I survived and made dance into a career.
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Kareem: One of the earliest songs I can remember choreographing to was a Michael Jackson song. I believe it was “Off the Wall”.
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
Kareem: Anyone can Freestyle. Anyone can dance. My advice would be stay true to yourself and connect with the music!
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
Kareem: To get in the zone all I need is to be inspired. Once the inspiration hits me, stopping is not an option!
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Kareem: I am influenced by many people. If you have a good heart and passion for what you do than chances are you’ve influenced me in one way or another.
Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
Kareem: My business partner, Stephan Dickson. Great energy and full of joy for what he does. Its contagious. Also, My brother, Shawn Byfield. We share similar visions which makes working together on projects a joy!
Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why?
Kareem: Oh wow, umm, Chris Rouse (musician) would be one of my favorites. We’ve known each other for years and I have never met someone so humble and grateful towards people and life. Good people are rare and I have been blessed with being able to work with the best of them.
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?
Kareem: Current Projects.
The release of my book; Poems, Stories & Thoughts of an Adult Mind, available online now at
Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess that dancers from other parts of the Country and States may not?
Kareem: Toronto dancers possess great talent and a lot of potential. From my travels, I know first hand that unity is a key factor. As long as Toronto dancers can keep that and continue the support and love for one another than greatness will shine for all.
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
Kareem: Emerging dancers/ choreographers. You have to get out there and take classes with as many people as you can. Don’t get stuck or trapped in one place. What makes dance so beautiful is that it is universal. Everyone has something they can teach you so don’t be shy. Go out and experience DANCE for what it really is. It’s a language for all! Remember, it is the one who is afraid to try that will get stuck and left behind.
THANK YOU SO MUCH KAREEM FOR BEING A PART OF T.D.O.T. XO
Check out Kareem’s classes