To Top

Check Out Danielle Lyndsay’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Danielle Lyndsay.

Hi Danielle, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I started dancing at a very young age and quickly fell in love with it. At the age of 17, I was presented with my first opportunity to choreograph. I then realized that creating works of art and telling stories through dance was something I was passionate about and shifted my future towards performing and choreographing as a career. I went to college but I was very unhappy in the environment and decided to make the big move to New York to pursue a professional dance career. I was fortunate enough to be accepted into and complete the Internship program at Broadway Dance Center, make great connections, and perform with popular contemporary companies in the city.

The trajectory of my career as a performer changed after I was involved in car accident and forced to move home to recover. During this time, I began teaching at some local dance studios and was even given the opportunity to teach at my former high school. Through these opportunities, I started to realize I had a gift with teaching younger dancers and truly became passionate about educating the next generation. I also started to realize that while I was teaching under other directors, there was a disconnect between the dancer I was training and the professional life they wanted the dancer to pursue. I decided the teaching style and direction I was headed in no longer served me and that it was time to branch out on my own.

The pandemic of 2020 gave me the time to create my business plan and true vision for what has become The Trybe Dance Collective. #TheTrybe serves as a safe space where emerging fine artists and choreographers can explore and hone their crafts while nurturing their love for dance. Through personalized training, dedicated instruction and a holistic curriculum, the Teaching Artists of The Trybe Dance Collective aim to guide and challenge creatives while molding them into breakthrough fine artists. The dancers and families that Trybe has had the opportunity to train and mentor have completely changed their mindsets in terms of what is possible for their professional dance future. With our guidance, within six months they were able to brand and market themselves, as well as audition for and secure ambassadorships, sponsorships and jobs while still continuing their personalized training at an elite level. Being forced into a virtual learning environment during the pandemic also allowed us to pivot quickly and offer virtual classes to dancers outside of our immediate market, which has allowed us to manage dancers not only in the DMV but in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New York.

Aside from my dance life, I’m also an accomplished recording artist and songwriter. With the opening of my new business, that career took a small hiatus, but it also gave me freedom to be inspired and fully experienced new accomplishments in my life, rather than writing to fit a specific theme or concept as I had been doing for myself and other clients in the past. Now that my business has found its footing, I can begin to immerse myself into music again while also using my new experience as a full-time entrepreneur to be more keen in the music business itself while not losing my freedom as an artist.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I don’t feel that any journey I’ve taken in my artistry has been smooth, whether it was in my music career or performance career, but the journey has been well worth it.

Dance not only takes a toll on your body, it takes a toll on your psyche. I struggled for a long time as a professional dancer because I don’t have the body “requirements” of a Ballet dancer, but that of someone who is more typecast as a background dancer or a video model, two roles I wasn’t interested in pursuing. Getting a lot of choreographers to appreciate my technical ability was difficult because they couldn’t “see” me in the role. Being in auditions, hearing things and not even being allowed to dance because my body “won’t look good in the costume” or “the choreography isn’t for a black dancer”, took a toll on me, but it also helped develop the very tough skin I would need to be successful in the arts & entertainment industry. I find joy in seeing the dancers I train now receiving more opportunities and being considered more for the roles they deserve, regardless of their shape or skin color. The industry is slowly becoming more inclusive and more dancers of color are being represented and appreciated, but it still has a long way to go.

As a female recording artist, I’ve been in situations or rooms where I wasn’t taken seriously by my male counterparts. Fortunately, I have a strong support system in my business and writing partner who had to fight a lot of those battles for me in the beginning, but it also taught me a lot of the business just by observing him, listening to his conversations and knowing what to look out for, and it forced me to start demanding the respect I deserve immediately rather than trying to “fit in” to get by. That confidence and demeanor eventually made the men respect me when I walked in the room because they knew I was serious and it could back the persona up with my work.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m one of those creatives that has experience in various areas. Aside from music and dance, I’ve also been fortunate to act in the award-winning web series Differences, as well as some other short films. I’ve even stepped behind the camera and directed commercials, photoshoots, advertisements, and a dance film.

I think that I specialize in dance education. Not only training dancers and getting them technically sound but also helping them brand and market themselves as multi-dimensional artists so that they don’t fall into the category of being a struggling artist. Although I’m known as a choreographer, I’m most proud of my work as a mentor. Helping dancers see their potential and them seeing them surpass that makes me full and lets me know I’m on the right path in terms of following my purpose,

In music, I specialize in songwriting and vocal arrangements. I’m most proud of the work I did on my EP From the Ashes, as well as the work I did on my D. Ward’s debut project The Journey. On both projects, I was able to work with my family, my producer and writing partner ShoCase who happens to be my cousin and D. Ward who happens to be my dad. Working with them is always special and has created a unique bond and appreciation for each other not only as family but as individual artists.

I think the experience and success I’ve had in each area I’ve worked in sets me apart from the others. I’ve learned so much from each area that the knowledge I’m able to pass along, guidance I’m able to give and network I’ve amassed allow me to share so much with my students.

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’ve definitely learned multiple personal and professional lessons during the pandemic, all which I’m so grateful for. Personally, I’ve gained a sense of gratitude and intention that almost scares me. I’ve always known life is short and precious, but the pandemic forced me to realize how precious time itself is. The time I sat, not being able to do any of the things I thought completed me were confusing. I didn’t initially know where to find any joy within myself because I didn’t know myself outside of what I do. I spent a great amount of time meditating and doing tasks in silence, which is incredibly uncomfortable for someone like me who is always surrounded by music and talking all the time. The intention I learned to listen to and truly feel led me to stop procrastinating on my big dreams and big wants out of life, and are what really drove me to start my business and hold my first class, even in the middle of the pandemic. I also learned how capable I am and that I’m more than just what I do.

Professionally I learned how important it is to pivot. Before the pandemic, I had already had some experience teaching virtually, so when it was forced upon me, I didn’t panic, I had a game plan and I was able to put my dancers at ease. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Dwayne Morris Photography Silent Knight Studios

Suggest a Story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in local stories