Today we’d like to introduce you to Chmira Dayvon.
Hi Chmira, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I am 24 years old and originally from Sanford, North Carolina. I love to dance. Even at a young age, I was always mesmerized by the dances at church or youth group conferences and dreamed of one day being able to do that. Fast forward to middle school and I joined my church’s drama team.
I didn’t think I was that good, but I was doing something that I loved and so it was so fulfilling. Little did I know that I would be merely scratching the surface of what dance had planned for me. I stayed on the team all the way through high school and in 2015 competed in a regional dance-based talent show and won “State Champion” in my specific category. I was thrilled!
Soon after, I was put in charge of my church’s dance team and led them for my last 2 years in North Carolina. Once I graduated, I moved to Cleveland, TN to attend college and while there, I joined a local church dance team I had been following for some time. We traveled and did ministry and danced in front of thousands! I never imagined I would be doing something like that or dancing in front of crowds like that.
Meanwhile, at school, I am performing at the schoolwide talent show and choreographing dances for other students’ performances at different campus-wide events. Fast forward to my junior year of college, I decided to leave the dance team that I was on and just focus on continuing to make a name for myself at school with my dancing.
Thankfully, I was not alone, a dear friend of mine also carried the same love for dance that I had so we teamed up and became a dynamic duo at school dancing and making videos. Never did we think it would blow up as it did. Students and faculty at school loved what we could do and began to invite us to dance at events and interview us for the school paper.
We were on top of the world. Something to note is that I did not go to school for Dance; I went to school to major in Psychology and go on and get my Master’s and become a counselor. However, the more I went throughout my years at school, the more dance became a primary career option. Then while on my cross-cultural trip, we got the news that COVID had hit the US and that my last semester of college would be spent online.
As sad as that time was, it was really the turning point for me because, without my personal uncertainty of being fully online in a graduate program, I never would have taken the gap year right after college to just dance. That gap year was the most prolific year of my life. Off a whim, I decided to drive to Nashville, TN, and attend a class at Millennium Dance Complex because I saw a post on Instagram saying that they were opening back up.
Nothing was holding me back from going: I had a car, I didn’t have a job, and most importantly, I had a dream. So off I went. Funny thing is, the week before, I had sent an email to the studio asking for a janitorial job simply because I wanted to be there in any capacity that I could. The moment I finally got there, I was so nervous but also so excited because I knew that on the other side of that door, were the keys to my dreams.
Since that incredible day, I joined on as a work-study and learned the ins and outs of studio life, got the incredible opportunity to be signed to a talent agency (Fresh Talent Group), and performed with amazing artists like TheWeeknd (2021 Superbowl Halftime Show), Big n Rich, and Shy Carter. I also booked a local residency show (Ranch Hands Cowboylesque) and even became a teacher at Millennium.
I never imagined in a million years that these things would happen to me and I am happy to say that this is only the beginning.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I don’t think anything that I have ever wanted, came to be easy. I think that’s why I appreciate where I am so much; I know that I had to fight for it.
The biggest struggle has been the solo battle of my mind. There are some incredible dancers in this area and the biggest thing I had to learn was that we are all on a different timeline; Some people have been dancing professionally since they were 3 and others just started yesterday.
At first, I was really hard on myself because I was “not as good as” someone else and it almost pushed me away from dance, but I just had to continually remind myself that I am on my own path and my progress isn’t determined by the people around me, but by the man I was yesterday.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a dancer, choregrapher, and model. I am currently most proud of being trusted with a class at a studio like MDC. I hold all the teachers there in such high regard, so to be in the same rooms as them teaching and inspiring others, is one of my greatest joys.
Authenticity is the greatest thing that someone can bring to the table to set them apart from the rest and I think I definitely am proof of that. That is not to say that I am better or less than anyone else, but I am authentically myself. Make no mistake, we all have our flaws and hiccups, but I think that’s just the fine print of life.
The person that I am is based on all my life experiences, my connection to dance, and the person that I am at my core. There is no one else in the world that can do me like me, and I am not trying to be like anyone else but myself. That is a lesson that I learned throughout all this.
You can only be the best version of yourself and if you try to be someone else you will always fail. So why be them, when you are enough?
The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
I have learned just how fleeting life can be.
People all across the world have been losing people left and right and you never know if or when that will happen to you or someone you know, so I have learned it is best to cherish those around you and never let the a “what if” stop you from doing the things you love.
Take those risks, have those conversations, and live your life; you never know when it could all be over.
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chmira_/