In the latest installment of our Dazzler Profile series, The Costume Gallery team caught up with Niyah Smith of Wake Forest, NC
“I enjoy the stage. Ever since I was little, even if I didn’t know what I was doing, I was always smiling on stage. The stage filled my little heart with happiness, and I was hooked!” -- Niyah Smith
Niyah Smith hasn’t stopped moving since the day she was born.
Her earliest memories include jumping around the house, full of such intense, boundless energy that she would run into things and just keep on jumping. Niyah’s parents knew they needed to find her an activity -- in a hurry.
“They put me in dance, and I have been in love with it ever since!” Niyah says.
In fact, Niyah loved to dance so much that when she was 3, she stole the show in her very first recital, a performance called “Lollipop.” What she lacked in ability, she more than made up for in personality.
“My mom told me that most of the girls ran off stage crying,” she says, “but I stayed up on stage smiling and having no clue what I was doing!”
Niyah is an accomplished dancer now, as a 14-year-old ninth-grader, but she’s still got that same tireless motor that never seems to run out of gas. When she’s not practicing or performing with No Limits Dance Center, she enjoys tumbling in her spare time.
We’re so happy Niyah sat still long enough to answer our questions so we could all get to know her better! 😁 Read on to see what she had to say!
Who are your biggest mentors in dance, and what impact did they have on you?
My biggest mentor right now is my dance teacher and studio owner, Temperance Robancho. She really helped me to better my technique and my love of dance even more! She is an amazing choreographer and has a way of making anyone look good. I’m so thankful that she is my teacher.
Do you remember your favorite costume of all time? Tell us more about it!
My favorite costume that I’ve worn is a blue romper with sweat pant-like bottoms and a mesh halter top. It was my solo costume for my seventh-grade year, and I absolutely loved wearing it!
How have you integrated dance into your life during the COVID-19 pandemic?
I have been taking a lot of online classes and workshops and creating a workout and ballet schedule to do at home. Sometimes, I will add in the occasional tap, jazz, or hip hop online class or do an online convention.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a dancer during the pandemic?
The biggest challenge for me that I have faced is staying motivated while dancing by myself and not being able to vibe off of the people around me. That’s why I struggle with live prerecorded classes and prefer Zoom classes instead! At least on Zoom, I can interact with the instructor.
How has your outlook on life changed in the past year?
My outlook on life, in general, has changed a lot this year. I have learned patience during this quarantine period and how to just go with the flow and listen to everything the professionals are telling you. I’ve also learned to think about situations more before I dive headfirst into them. I want to make sure the situation is safe and won’t affect me or a loved one in the future.
What are your career or life goals?
I have multiple career paths in life. My main goal is to travel with the world-renowned Alvin Ailey Dance Company for many years and become a choreographer when I’m done. I would love to accomplish all of this after I go to college at NYU, Pace, or USC first! I also want to apply to Yale, because even though their dance program isn’t the best, academics are just as important to me!
What do you think it means to be an “Influencer”?
I think what it means to be an influencer is to create and post things that you love to do and share it with the world, but also use your platform to influence others to make the right decisions and not the wrong ones.
What message do you want to send to other dancers who look up to you?
Honestly, I would tell them to never let people underestimate you. One of my favorite random sayings is, “Underestimate me; that’ll be fun!” I think you should try to also better yourself while also proving to others that you are a force to be reckoned with! Also, self-love always comes first! Loving the way you dance and not being shy to put it all out on the dance floor should always be a top priority!
Like all of our Dazzlers, Niyah is an amazing young lady with so much to offer! At Costume Gallery, a leading creator of dance recital and competition costumes, we’re all about making a positive impact on the world through individuality and style, and we’re looking forward to seeing what Niyah accomplishes in years to come.
Stay tuned to our blog throughout the season as we continue to shine a spotlight on our dazzling team of brand ambassadors!