*Famed choreographer Laurieann Gibson has dropped a new book titled “Dance Your Dance: 8 Steps to Unleash Your Passion and Live Your Dream,” in which she documents her rise in the industry while sharing her wisdom. Gibson has worked with some of music’s biggest artists including Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Diddy and Alicia Keys. Now she’s shinning the spotlight on her journey to stardom.
In a new interview with Complex, Gibson explains, “Everyone has a moment once they make the record when they have to become the record. It’s what the music industry was built on,” she said. “I often relate what I do to the NBA. It’s like Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan: everyone needs a coach.”
When asked who are two new artists she most excited about, Gibson shared: I’m working with a new global pop sensation named Natasha and she might be my finest student yet. I’m also very excited about an R&B girl signed to Universal Canada named Gogo. She’s exceptional.”
Peep additional excerpts from the conversation below.
In 2016 you toured with DMX on the Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour and after he passed you shared a really poignant video of him leading a prayer before a show. What was that experience like?
DMX was an incredible entertainer and we had a really special connection. Bringing him up from the elevator and choosing the timing of his lighting and when he would arrive, he was so clear and specific about how the audience would receive what he had to give. That type of magic doesn’t come all the time and DMX embodied what a real performer is supposed to be. With all the challenges you go through in life, the one thing that happens when you hit that stage is really a different kind of ability and he embodied the greatness of that.
Why did you feel like this was the best time to tell your story?
We had been working on a scripted show and the outline was so amazing that when I read it, it felt like there was a book there. So we went for it. I didn’t know that I had a book, the book spoke to me and said, “I’m ready. It’s time.” After spending the extra time I had as a result of COVID to dive into the process and understand the ‘why’ to the book, it wasn’t about being autobiographical. It was about understanding how to offer eight steps to unleash your passion and live your dream. It was based on a methodology that I designed to help superstars but I wanted it to also help every single person. I wanted to connect with readers who want to understand how to live their passion and see their dreams fulfilled.
The synchronicity of you deciding to write the book and the lockdown happening reminds me of an anecdote that you shared in the book about making the leap from dancer to choreographer to creative director. You wrote, “It wasn’t even my choice, it was my dream’s choice” and this has clearly manifested with bringing this book to fruition. How has it manifested in other parts of your career?
I continued to hang onto the feeling of that dream. I know that I don’t necessarily have all the answers, but the feeling I have when I think of my dream is what continues to push me into the next level and ultimately to my destiny. When the dream told me to write a book, I trusted the timing of it and now I’m in my purpose. It’s not just to inspire and transform superstars, it’s to connect with everyone in a way where we can all feel like our own superstars, especially in a time where the world has changed and the narrative needs to be an empowering one.
What do you think that social media has done to the state of dance? Do you feel like the hypervisibility of TikTok and Instagram dance challenges have made things better or worse?
It’s two-fold. On one hand, the fact that the dances are so prominent is great because dance is full of joy and has entertainment value. As a professional, I’m very clear about the responsibility to identify it as entertainment, versus the perspective that someone who is a TikTok dance influencer should create choreography for a number one-selling artist.
That narrative is misguided. TikTok is not where you find your professional career. It’s thirty seconds of movement. That’s a broken statement, not an entire conversation. It doesn’t show an ability to string movement together to create an impactful experience, like what I’ve done with Gaga or Katy or Nicki. That’s a different level of professionalism.
If you had to boil it down to two projects that you’re proudest of, which would they be?
They’re all my proudest moments. The Monster Ball Tour being one of the most iconic tours ever, the Pinkprint being one of the most iconic tours ever, obviously Bad Boy and working with Puffy—everything. They’re all big moments, even when they’re not on the big stage. Moments with myself when I don’t give up in a trying time mean more to me than anything, though. When I’m at my weakest and I still manage to persevere, those are the greatest times in my life.
Read the full interview here.
— LaurieAnn Gibson aka Boomkack (@iamlaurieanng) March 19, 2021