Shango received a grant to participate in the Camping project organized by the Centre National de la Danse. 


What is your artistic background?

My artistic endeavours include dancing professionally for the past six years and making jewellery for about as long. I make custom handmade jewelry from natural materials. 


How do you see your profession today?

My view on my profession today is this thin line between work and play. I teach dance to kids and adults and I sell jewellery. I've been dancing since I was a kid but it wasn't until I turned 17, when my life changed drastically, that I had to dance to support myself and make a living. Coming from Georgia to New York with only a backpack full of clothes and an attitude, I had to look at dance not as something I only do ‘sometimes’. No. It was giving me life. And I loved it. I took that information and it has guided me to teaching consistently, winning $10,000 competitions and growing overall into the artist I am now. Dance for me has never been something secondary. It was and is as essential as breathing and should be taken seriously (but not too seriously). 


How do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?

Where do I see myself in the next 5-10 years? My visions of my future tend to be kind of open for my own sake but I could definitely see myself teaching on a larger scale, traveling constantly, creating projects with bigger names, venues and audiences. I could also see myself looking for more dances to explore and styles to learn. 


This interview was conducted in 2017

Photo credit: Céline Anaya Gautier