Makayla Eugene - Viewers' Choice August 2017

My solo piece "Queens Be Like' has meant so much to me, and winning this scholarship provides me another opportunity to share it with other young dancers.  I have been dancing since I was 3 years old.  So, I have been dancing for 10 years.  I study with the Jam Youth Project.  The Jam Youth Project is a pre- professional tap dance company created by Mark Orsborn and Justin Myles.  We are compromised of students from across in the United States who meet in the Washington, D.C. area for practice.  We travel throughout the country to perform.  I have also studied at many dance festivals such as JUMP Dance convention, the Dance Awards, Rhythm in Fusion Tap Festival, D.C. Tap Festival, North Carolina Tap Festival, Taps Alive, and the New Jersey Tap Festival. I have been able to study with some of the most amazing Master Instructors such as Sarah Reich, Michelle Dorrance, Ayodele Casel, Derrick Grant, Chloe Arnold, Maude Arnold, Anissa Irving, Lady Di Walker, Mike Minery, Anthony Morigerato, Charles Renado, Jeannie Hill, Joseph Wiggins, Andrew Nemr, Jen Ray, Justin Lewis, Hillary-Marie Michael, Nicholas Young, Kaelyn Gray, Matt Shields, and Elec Simon.  I was recently selected to study with Savion Glover and Derrick Grant in January 2018.  

The types of dance that I have studied include Tap, Hip Hop Jazz, Lyrical, Pom, African Funk Contemporary, and Ballet.  My absolute favorite type of dance is tap.

I would definitely like to say an extra thank you to Ms. Jodeci Millhouse, my choreographer for "Queens Be Like" and my inspiration everyday.  She is the definition of a Queen.  I would like to thank Mr. Mark Orsborn, Mr. Justin Myles, and Ms. Jen Ray for all of the opportunities they are providing to me through the  Jam Youth Project.  I would also like to thank Mr. Noble Potts and Ms. Anna Howard who were my first tap teachers and all of my prior dance teachers at my first studio Power Explosion Studio of Dance.   I would like to thank all of the amazing Tap Festival directors like Malana Murphy who have previously granted me a scholarship as well as Michelle Dorrance, Jeannie Lee, Chloe and Maud Arnold, Sarah Reich and so many others for pulling me out of the crowd and believing in me. 

My solo piece "Queens Be Like" is about being a confident young and independent woman.  It is about not allowing any man or anyone in society to control who you are as a person, and to be a humble individual in the process. 

The greatest benefits of participating in conventions are to meet new people, to work with old friends that love dance as much as I do, and to travel and visit new communities, states and hopefully countries.  The absolute best benefit is the opportunity and experience to learn from such amazing mentors and professionals.

I am inspired to dance by the amazing mentors who are constantly showing me how beautiful the art of dance is, my love for dance, the dance community, and being able to express myself through dance.  My Tap Shoes Are My Voice.  I speak through my feet.  I am generally a very shy person.  When I can't find the words to express myself, I Just Tap. 

My future plans are to either attend a performing arts school or to go to a high school with a specific advanced level education program.  After high school, I plan to attend college with honors.  Regardless of my major or my career, dance will always be a part of my future.  Dance, especially Tap Dance, is a part of my soul. 

Makayla Eugene  Dancer You Tube

@makayla_eugene (Instagram)