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Check Out The Luckies’ Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to The Luckies.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Luckie: We met over 12 years ago through mutual friends who were going out to a club in Hollywood. It was rocky at first because J’Nelle was running very late and I’m a super punctual person. To get the vibe right, J’Nelle bought a round of Adios drinks. At the time I rarely drank so it hit me HARD!! The rest is history. Once we started dancing, we forgot anyone else was in the room. We danced until ‘last call’ like it was the You Got Served finale battle. Our clothes were soaked when we left.

J’Nelle: I started in ballet at a very young age, then as a cheerleader in high school, my coach Ms. Hall helped me develop a keen eye for choreography and the impact of a good eight count. After high school, I got into the healthcare industry and did dance performances around my community but never pursued it professionally.

Luckie: My mom would take me with her to her African dance classes in Leimert Park then I started performing in musical theater as a kid. I’ve worked in the entertainment industry as a dancer, creative director, choreographer and movement coach for about 15 years.

J’Nelle: Throughout our relationship, dance has always been woven into the fiber of our lives. From choreographing friends’ wedding dances, surprise proposals and creating flash mobs to organizing events that benefit children with cancer and special needs.  We did everything from dance classes featuring a live band to an open mic day party that celebrated the life of Miyagi Chilombo, singer/songwriter Jhené Aiko’s brother. When my mom needed to lose weight for a knee surgery, we took the music we love and the moves that got us sweating back in the day to create a 90s cardio workout for the mind, body and soul called Old School Skinny.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Jumping through hoops has always been a part of owning our own business and being married, but we’ve had to really tap into a more flexible approach and consistently stay on our toes to keep our Party People dancing during the pandemic.

The last two years have been a roller coaster of uncertainty and learning new things. We had our first son (Jru Covington Luckie) July 2, 2020 and in the midst of it all, continued to teach classes on Zoom, filmed more online content and moved our Saturday class to Culver City Park.

One upside is that being at home together so much gave us the time to do a lot of personal reflection. We’d just sit there and have these long, in-depth conversations about our future. We talked about what truly makes us happy and the life we want to live that allows us to feel that way every day.

Maintaining an upward trajectory as we leave a legacy for our son is our main priority which has made us think and move differently. A lot of things we considered to be a norm had to change in order for us to be the best versions of ourselves. Breaking old habits is difficult but sometimes the hardest work we have to do is actually on ourselves.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
We know that very often, people spend their entire week feeling like they’re working, moving through life and never really seen or given the chance to EXPRESS freely. We love to create a space where our Party People shine and feel fly no matter what else is going on in their lives.

Everyone is always surprised with the wide scope of music we play. We take a lot of pride in honoring artists we grew up with while also introducing our students to new tracks that have a great vibe. Every week we put together a handpicked playlist of songs on Spotify. Some of them are special requests from students so you can always tell who’s jam it is once the beat drops.

The Cha Cha, Electric Slide, Soul Train line; these are all authentic to our culture and how we grew up.  Sharing that same energy with our students is what helps us bridge the gap between generations through music and dance while offering a space for people from all walks of life to feel included and empowered.

All of the nuances of Old School Skinny make it a really unique experience that genuinely reflects who we are. It only feels like a workout once we’re done. Everything else feels like a family cookout where every single person came to tear it up on the dance floor.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?COVID has taught us that human interaction is more vital to our everyday survival than we really thought. Something as simple as a smile or a random conversation with a stranger in a store feeds our need to connect with other humans.

It was a family affair before, but now there’s a different type of joy floating through the air. It’s part gratefulness and part pure excitement. When we see each other pull into the parking lot, we know there’s healing that’s about to happen. Whether it’s an escape from the world, a chance to relive those good old clubbin’ days or gaining more self confidence by being around people that uplift them. The joy is on a higher, more intentional level.

With everyone isolated and unsure for such a long time, we knew we had to keep class going. This hour of limitless good vibes is necessary now more than ever. With the fear of COVID being constant, we continue to take extra considerations and precautions to stay safe while we sweat.

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Image Credits
Austin Goswick Wendy Garcia LoriAnn Garcia

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