Today we’d like to introduce you to Tramon Richard.
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?
I remember when I was younger, me and my older brother would learn choreography from music videos and movies to goof around or pass time. Little did I know, this would begin my journey to finding what would eventually be my career. My family members from uncles, mom, dad, brother, cousins ALL were into sports. Everyone except me.
Growing up, I knew what I liked and had ideas of what I’d want to do. However, nothing seemed to really stick to me. I wanted to be a paleontologist because of my infatuation with dinosaurs. I wanted to be a school teacher because naturally, I enjoy helping others and being in leadership roles. I also wanted to become a martial artist solely to become a power ranger (pink specifically) or a super spy. Yet and still nothing really stuck to me. Until one day, I was at home in my basement free-styling to Ciara’s album “Goodies” when my older brother came in and said, “have you ever thought about being a dancer? you’re actually really good at it!”. It clicked, the sweating, the idea of performing, the feeling of being on stage all rushed in on me. I found my passion and that would be my peace. Entering high school, however, dancing wasn’t on my to do list. I was self-conscience of exposing my passion because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself or my brother the negative way.
Especially because tho I was comfortable with my sexuality personally, I wasn’t fully comfortable with everyone else knowing. Nonetheless, on the first day of high school me and my friends were all sitting together during breakfast- when the after school programs started coming around asking people to join. The captain of the dance team came over and asked our table if anyone here could dance and all of my friends pointed to me. The dance captain handed me the sign up list and said “auditions are tomorrow afterschool be there.” I remember going to my great grandmother’s house after school that day with one of my bestfriends. I was so hesitant on what I should do. So I asked my grandmother her opinion on it and what I should. I remember her response so vividly, she said to me “whatever you decide to do in this life; whether it’s in dance or in your life choices, do it! don’t let anyone tell you who you are or what you choose to do is “wrong”. As long as you keep God first – whatever it is YOU choose will be covered. Be yourself and if anyone has a problem with that, send them to me. I’ll tell em’ off. I love you no less or no different. Go dance!”. She changed my life that day and for that, I am grateful. I went to the audition and the rush of that process fed my soul! I was accepted onto the dance team and the rest was history. I was hooked to the lifestyle.
Later I found out that the dance captain and about three others were apart of a professional hip hop dance company known as MaTiff. I began doing my own research and came across so many YouTube videos of the company in rehearsals/class and I made it my business to become apart of that company! The choreographer at the time was Anthony “Redd” Williams. A well-respected leader in the St. Louis dance community. He later would become my mentor. Showing me the ropes of being a professional teacher, choreographer and dancer. I worked as his assistant from 2012-2016. He became a prominent figure in my life, especially when I needed it the most. He sharpened my skills as both a professional and as a man. Truly grateful for him. In my years after graduating, I was able to accomplish a great deal. I went from being a dancer to becoming an assistant artistic director of a junior dance company. I taught alongside Redd throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. Started my own heels classes. I was able to help my family. I effectively made a living solely off of dance alone.
I was proud of myself however I knew my journey in St. Louis would come to an end. I woke up one day and something told me that it was time to take my journey to LA. To help me get to LA, I decided to take up a job as a nursing assistant. Working with the elderly was so fun and I genuinely loved it. Being around nothing but wisdom and creating unique bonds with each of them made the job feel less like labor and more like a potential career. I did that for three months and thankfully that was all I needed to be eligible for transfer. After three months, I packed up my car and drove 26 hrs from STL to LA with my older cousin. I touched in LA on August 1st, 2016 and here I am four and a half years later. In that time here, I’ve worked with Kehlani, Katy Perry, Sam Smith, Tyler The Creator, Christina Aguilerar, Lip Sync Battle and Voice. I started teaching my own heels class here at two well-known training studies. I’ve curated a second family here and tho it took a while, I now feel like LA is home. LA has been the stomping ground of my actual becoming an adult. I’ve grown to appreciate myself and the process of figuring myself out in depth. I’m excited for the future endeavors.
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?
September 2018 until March 4th, 2019 were the hardest and most trying months I’ve endured. I resigned from my nursing job after accepting a job to travel to Italy. Within those months I lost my car, I lost my bank account because I was deep into the negatives, my mental health slipped, I had my first panic attack/mini seizure just to name a few things. I wasn’t easy. However, I still was able to take class and I still had my support system to help me.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a working professional dancer/teacher and choreographer based here in Los Angeles, CA. I specialize in dance in general, however I especially trained and now teach heels technique. I’m all about lines, length, essence, feeling, performance, quality, intention and clarity. I’m known as a well-rounded dancer and versatile dancer in general but most people discover me by seeing me in heels mostly. I can honestly say the thing that sets me apart from others is my genuine ability to be me regardless who accepts it or not. Both in and out of the dance space. I don’t ever want to compare myself to anyone and vice versa. Everyone has something to offer, to compare what you have to others shuts that down. I also pride myself off being versatile as previously stated. Being able to dance both masculine and feminine and execute them both well is no easy task. Not many dancers can give that. I like to think of myself a rare gem that comes around every so often in generations, lol. Ultimately, I’m genuinely proud of how far I’ve come in myself and my career. Excited to say that I’m just getting started.
How do you think about happiness?
The thing that makes me most happy would be my connection to the people closest to my heart. I am heavily family-oriented. My family both biological and chosen provides me with warmth and comfort. They keep me grounded and motivated even in the most trying times. How can one not be happy with such a gift.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: _tramonster