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NAOMI SOUTHWELL BROOKLYN DANCER

Brooklyn New York dancer Naomi Southwell leads our March 2019 issue of Maelle Teen Sports. Noami is currently with NY Knicks City Kids Dancer, EXPG NYC Next Generation, Bloc NYC Model Agency and Ailey Junior Division.

Naomi is very social and loves to spend time with friends or make new ones. Each summer she goes away for a month to sleep away camp. Naomi is a dancer and it’s the thing she loves to do the most. When she was young she played soccer, explored visual arts and gymnastics, but it’s the dance that stuck. She danced recreationally from the ages of 3-8.

It wasn’t time-consuming and she did it for fun. She began asking her mom about dancing more seriously of 7/8 years. With the encouragement of a dance teacher at age nine, she began to seek out commercial dance. She began training at Alvin Ailey and found her way through commercial dance by learning and taking classes from professional choreographers in the NYC area. She’s a busy girl but keeps a good disposition and does well in school. She finished the school year with a 94% average.

INTERVIEW
When did you start dancing? I started dancing when I was three. At around eight years old I wanted to start dancing professionally.
What was your greatest moment as a dancer? The first job I booked after I got signed by my agent.
Did anyone influence you? When I first started dancing hip hop, I was amazed at all the kid YouTube dancers. My favorite is Nicole Laeno, but in real life, Stephanie Consiglio is my role model.

As for adults, my teachers Ms. A and Ms. Gallace at Alvin Ailey have influenced me because they are inspiring women. They’re strong, independent, and knowledgeable.

When did you first start to show interest in dance? I began to really love dance at around seven years old. I gave up gymnastics and other activities for dance.

Where do you dance? I train at Alvin Ailey for ballet and various genres of modern and EXPG New York for hip hop and street styles.

Who do you enjoy working with? Oh wow, that’s difficult because there are so many amazing dancers in New York City and it’s really like a family. It’s so hard not to have a list of names.

If I had to name a few I’d say, Stephanie Consiglio, because she was the first commercial dancer who was really friendly to me and she’s so inspiring and talented. I also enjoy working with Giada Leigh, Skylin Foster, and my KCK teammate Kylie Silverstein.

What have you accomplished so far? I was featured in a Halloween promotion for Universal Kids, I was selected by Willdabeast Adams and Janelle Ginestra to be a part of 34th and Phunk 2018.

I was a model for 5678 Steps, I’m a recipient of the scholarship program with EXPG LDH at their NYC location, and my most recent accomplishment is being a Knicks City Kids Dancer for the New York Knicks.

Do you play any other sports? I mostly play sports when I’m at

leep-away camp during the summer. My favorites are gymnastics, swimming, tennis, water skiing, baseball, and climbing.

Would you like to compete in the Olympics? I used to wish I could when I was in gymnastics. I admired Gabby Douglas so much!

What songs do you like to dance to? My favorite songs to dance to right now are: Thank You Next, Without Me, Tennis Court, and most things Cardi B.

What is your fitness regimen like? I dance about 13-15 hours per week, no exaggeration! In addition to that, I stretch about twice a week and attend acro classes.

What other skills do you have? I draw pretty well and I also have an interest in photography. I would love to learn about interior design and wish I had time to cook and bake more.

How do you prepare for a dance competition? I’m not a competition dancer, so I tend to prepare for other types of performances.

I make sure my body is ready by being conditioned and stretched, I listen to music and do lots of visualizing to remember my cues. I practice and run my dances. I also try to relax, so I’m not stressed.

What is your favorite healthy meal? Does sushi count, lol? I
do like fruit.

What is your greatest weakness? When dancing I would like to work on power and facial expressions, but in general, I want to improve on making time to always feel prepared.
What makes you strong? My family and friends supporting me. They’re always very understanding of my crazy life. That really, really keeps me going so I can be mentally strong.

What is your favorite school subject? My favorite subject is Social Studies because I’m interested in what took place in history. I’m fascinated by the accomplishments of people who lived before me.

What type of music do you like to listen to? I really like to listen to pop, hip hop, and alternative music. I’m drawn to music that’s catchy, has a message, or gets you hype.

What is your favorite book? I have so many, I love to read. If I have to chose I’d say my favorite is Out Of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper.

What do you like to watch? Riverdale.

What project do you have coming up? I attend a talent based middle school and I’m in their dance program. I’m choreographing a modern and contemporary piece to a gospel song for an assembly.

What would you like to do next? I would actually like to sing and train vocally. I would also like to choreograph more.

Do you have a favorite app? Don’t laugh but my favorite apps are Paper.io, Tik Tok, and actually Instagram.

Do you have any closing words? I just want to say thank you for being interested in my story. I would also like to say that whatever you choose to focus on should always make you happy.

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Model: Naomi S

Photographer: Christian Gonzalez @cgphotonyc

Art Director: Renaldo Creative

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