Today we’d like to introduce you to Johannah Lokhorst.
Hi Johannah, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started dancing when I was a little girl, maybe 3 or 4. I grew up dancing in a small studio in Minnesota, River Valley Dance Academy (RVDA). I give many thanks to RVDA, I wouldn’t have the technical training I do now if I hadn’t been introduced to that studio and been given the class training they offered. I started competitive dancing when I got into high school when I joined the school’s dance team while also participating in-studio dance competitions. I was very busy, but I knew this was something I wanted to continue to do.
Choosing what to do after high school was a struggle for me, I needed dance to continue to be a huge part of my life and I didn’t think College would be the right move. I looked into many different dance schools and programs around the states.
And then I found The Joffrey Ballet School, Joffrey offered a Jazz and Contemporary program that was everything I was looking for.
I was offered a scholarship with the program, moved to NYC, and spent 2 years training. It’s unmatched, the curriculum and the artistry, it is intense but specific. There were definitely days I struggled more than others, but learned a lot, not just about Dance but about myself too.
I was challenged and pushed in the best way possible. We were given many dance performance opportunities, and I was honored to work with some of New York’s finest artists, instructors, and performers such as Angelica Stiskin, Phil Orsano, Rena Butler, Manuel Vignoulle, Terk Lewis, and many more.
Those two years flew by and after my second year ended, I found myself coming home to Minnesota. There was about a year maybe, where I was doing nothing with my dance career. I would take trips to Lifetime Fitness and dance around in a studio and that would be it.
I became frustrated feeling like I was stuck and so I made the decision to move to the west coast after I built up more money.
In February 2019 I tried my luck out in Los Angeles, California. I took class at the famous Millennium Dance Complex in Studio City, got another job in retail. I coasted for about 6 months in LA, I didn’t find dance work, I was rejected from all agency auctions that I attended and I was starting to go to class less and less….
So come end of July 2019, I was back in Minnesota again. This section of my journey is one I wish I could go back and re-do parts of. I did not have enough money; my priorities were out of sorts and I was putting others’ needs before my own and at that point of my life it was just wrong timing.
2019-2021 I was home in Minnesota, it was like Deja vu. Working in retail, back to Lifetime Fitness sessions every few days of the week. Not doing even remotely close to what I wanted to be doing. And I think back to those two years, sometimes wishing I could have done things differently, but I am accepting the past and focusing on what is to come and what I can do with my future.
So how did I get to Nashville and where Am I now?
I moved to Nashville beginning of March 2021. I moved out here for Dance and to train at the MDC in Nashville. BUT I also knew there was a Millennium in Nashville so I was excited to get back into taking class and hopefully get back into seriously training and continuing the journey.
Little did I know things would begin to take off, and since then, I signed with my very first talent agency, FreshTalent Group, I have had the honorable pleasure of dancing in Music Videos for Danielle Bradbery, Tenille Arts, Molly Svrcina, and more.
Someone who had a very large impact on my career here in Nashville was Erik Cavanaugh. The very first class I took at Millennium was his jazz class, we danced to Celine Dion. Erik took me under his wing and has been an amazing friend and mentor to me. I am inspired by him daily and I have many thanks to give to him.
I was surprised and overwhelmed with excitement when I started to receive these opportunities. I am beyond thankful for them and I look forward to continuing this path I am on and hope to grow more and more.
I ran into a few roadblocks and detours and I will probably face imore, but this time I am ready and I won’t ever give up on my Dance journey. I am so passionate; I just know this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
My journey has and still does have its challenges, I struggle with mental health daily. I try not to let it take over, but it’s easier said than done. Severe Anxiety is something I do struggle with and it’s difficult as well as frustrating because you know that this isn’t how certain things are supposed to feel. I will not blame my anxiety for the breaks and decisions I decided to make in my journey, but it certainly didn’t not make things easier. I still struggle with it daily but I take it one day at a time.
Although I have not had any incredibly severe dents in my journey. I know there’s plenty more road waiting for me to cover in the future. And I just want everyone to know, those who struggle with mental health issues, you’re not alone. It is okay to seek out help and talk about it.
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 would definitely consider myself an artist/creative I wouldn’t just yet put myself in the category of professional considering I am still training and I am still growing. However, I am lucky to be given the technical training I was and I would say I do specialize in the genre of jazz contemporary, more the technical training side of Dance. Over the past couple of years of me not really knowing what I wanted to do and being stuck, I am very proud to have made it as far as I have. I could have very much given up every time I ended up back home. I have a deep wanting and drive to learn more, to get better, and to work for and allow more doors to open for me.
I am learning more and trying to open up my horizons to new parts of the dance community/world I haven’t been introduced to yet. And I think that’s what makes an artist. Is taking the craft they have now and being open to seeing what more they can do with it; how much further can it grow.
Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
You can reach out to me on Instagram or email! I welcome all questions/inquiries
I want to help out others with anything and everything.
And would love to work with new people.
- Email: Johannah.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://johannahlokhorst.wixsite.com/jojo
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/jj_lokhorst?r=nametag