This weeks Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Deona Scott. Growing up in South Texas surrounded by Hispanic culture and latin dancing, Deona always had a passion for dance. She started out making up dances in her backyard with her neighbors for talent shows, but mostly for fun! Never attending a formal studio she became a cheerleader in Junior High to have some form of dance structure and training. At a young age she started choreographing plays for her local high school and battling at all age’s events around her city. At the age of 15 she relocated to Canada, she was shocked to see how many dance studios were in town. It was a change from where she was raised. Without any formal training, Deona stepped into a studio at the age of 16 and began taking classes in hip hop, jazz and ballet. Since then she has won full paid scholarships, partial paid dance tours, choreography awards and more. Since her move to Toronto she’s been able to co-choreograph competition numbers, and stage shows for the clothing company Hurley. She has recently been featured in music videos, on local television, and stages across Toronto.
With that same drive she had as a little girl growing up in Texas, Deona is non-stop pursing her passion within the Dance industry. She trains with any choreographer who catches her eye. She’s focused and motivated on pursing her Dreams.
Bio Provided by Deona
Deona on Twitter @BigDeeeeeee
Check out what Deona had to say in this weeks shout out…
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Deona: I think I was 6 years old. My neighbors and I decided that we were the Spice Girls and made a little group with dances, took picutres, and all that stuff. I was ginger spice! 😉
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Deona: Well I co-choreographed to ‘Spice up your life’. I literally made up dances in my room as a kid all the time. I would say first choreo of my own was Survivor – Destinys Child when I in Grade 6! It was for an American Idol competion at my school.
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
Deona: DON’T THINK. DON’T EVEN LOOK AT YOURSELF. Just do! If you are doing that particular move it’s probably because it feels right. You dance because you love it — so you should just love your freestyle & enjoy yourself.
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
Deona: I have to really believe in what I’m doing. The song has to have some sort of meaning to my life, or I need to have a solid idea. After that I just replay forever until I got something I feel good with! You don’t want to be in the room with me. Replay, replay, reeeeeplay!
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Deona: I have so many. I look up to so many people. Pastel Supernova, Angela Mahoney, Natalli Rezink, Tatiana Parker, Alex Crenian, Vanessa Young.. I love how passionate they are about what they are doing. I find it so facinating!
Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
Deona: SO MANY! Laura Furtado is a really easy and fun person to work with. My recent favourite is Jojo Zolina! He oozes talent. It comes out of his bones! Carla Catherwood’s choreography is forever with me. I will take her choreography to my death bed I swear.
Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why?
Deona: Anytime I’ve ever worked with Pastel I leave so inspired! I love it! I’d say right now my favourite is Derrick Sangster. He’s so old school – it’s great.
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?
Deona: Yes! I’m working closely with Miss T.D.O.T. herself Nikki Johnson herself on a Coyote Ugly style project! I’m also choreographing/dancing the GAGA section in an event for DivaGirl Entertainment as well as working as their booking agent. Always training, always learning. I’m in Carla Catherwod’s ‘sassy fun’ group called NUVO there is always a lot happening with the Chic-a-Boom Room! Vanessa Young and I are in the works of creating a Bi-Costal Hype Art Project called ‘Those Girls’.
Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess?
Deona: Community, Passion, Art, and Drive.
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
Deona: Well, I would say that I am still one of them, but. GO TAKE CLASS! GO AUDITION! GO LEARN! Talk to people, ask those questions and find out how they did it! Create your own path.
THANK YOU DEONA FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE AND PASSION WITH T.D.O.T. XOXO
CHECK OUT SOME FOOTAGE OF DEONA…