Today we’d like to introduce you to Shemica Watkins-Johnson.
Hi Shemica, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I started dancing at five years old with a company known throughout the Bay Area Imotep under the direction of Linda Johnson. I fell in love with dance and it Loved me Back Hard. I went from Guninea, West Africa to Senegal, Haitian, Ballet, Jazz, Hiphop Afro diaspora dance styles and have been moving since I found it but it has been nine years since I was laid out from a blown ACL and two deep meniscus tears the fact that I couldn’t dance couldn’t see a future In dance couldn’t even stand up is something that shook me to the CORE, I pondered and wondered if this DANCE is what I was supposed to be doing I was depressed I was in a very dark space and THE THING I USE TO GET OUT OF DARKNESS WHICH IS DANCE could not help me because I could not dance the only thing that helped me along the way was old videos of me before THE INCIDENT but even that made me angry because I couldn’t get up and even try to attempt to move a muscle I was down for nine months. I could of had a baby y’all 😂😂😂😂 But all seriousness dance was robbed and stolen from me and I couldn’t even see a place for me in dance anymore I couldn’t see it I couldn’t see me ever getting back up and dancing again because I was so broken the surgery the scarring still to this day the sensitivity of where they cut my leg is still a reminder daily that you should never take for granted the activity of your limbs the freedom of movement because just as I’m healed and I’m able to move I can just as well be back sitting somewhere so when I think about Dance I think about the fact that I couldn’t do it, it was out of my reach it was something that was not tangible for me because I was sitting down not knowing what was coming next for my Dance.
Now I don’t think small in dance. I teach every 1st Sunday at San Leandro Marina a style I have created called Caliwynd is a dance Class of Soca dance and influential Haitian and African dance with a twist of dancehall and Hiphop.
Every second Sunday same place CaliTronyX which is a dancing step aerobics class with everything you need to build endorphins and endurance.
Every 1st and 3rd Tuesday Cali-Tues at 1919 Market Street in Oakland CA a Wynd class.
Doing what I do is more than just teaching it’s who I am and what makes me happy and feel amazing on days when I feel down.
Dance is Me and I am Dance.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, it has been a constant uncomfortable road to staying present in your space and lane and being ok that what is trending is trending and what you have to offer will get its turn, it has been days where I Contemplated if this is what I was supposed to be doing and asking a question of why can I dance and how come I can break things down if people don’t wanna know, and I heard clear as day from my Ancestors because you were blessed to be a blessing so get ready cause when it comes you DON’T have to get ready, stay consistent and true to what you do always.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
So I am a dance teacher and a choreographer, I am known for my Wynd and my presence on stage, I am most proud of the first show I put on back in 2014 Calle “A GIRLS NIGHT OUT” it was modeling, dancing, performing and a class prior I danced in that show 5 in a half months pregnant and it was an eye-opening experience because it let me know if I see it, the only way it’s not happening is if I stand in my own way. My Wynd and my gift to get you and others all to relate to what it is I’m teaching in your own way and get you connected to you on a more special level
Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
Don’t get distracted by what you see on social media, don’t jump on the bandwagon to be seen, study and perfect what it is you want to do and be your biggest supporter and IF DON’T NOBODY ELSE SHOW UP SHOW UP FOR YOUR SELF EVERY SINGLE TIME.
- Caliwynd Every 1st Sunday 1130-1pm San Leandro Marina $15
- CaliTronyX Every 2nd Sunday 1130-1230pm San Leandro Marina $15
- Cali-Tues Every 1st & 3rd Tuesday 1919 Market Street Oakland Ca 6-7:15pm $15
- Email: Caliwynd44@gmail.com
- Website: www.caliwynd14.com
- Instagram: @caliwyndlegacy
- Youtube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCRIBa1L9Ibi4m_2IfTr67OQ