Today we’d like to introduce you to Asia Miller.
Asia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was late to the game and started dancing my freshman year of high school.
Right off the bat, I threw myself into a small competitive dance studio (Harvard Academy of Dance) where we traveled, performed and trained at local dance competitions and conventions. There I trained in styles such as ballet, pointe, contemporary and jazz.
I initially got exposed to hip hop and street jazz styles once I started going to conventions. I attended a lot of conventions but the one that had the biggest impact on me was known as The Pulse Dance Convention!
My freshman year of college, I decided to stop my training in dance and pursue some studies in Sports Entertainment and Event Management at Johnson and Wales University. I joined a hip hop dance team there called “Ataxia”. We performed at many school events! But for some reason, I felt myself wanting more dance wise. My freshman year, I found myself with an empty void because this was the first time I stopped seriously training. So I decided to find a local dance studio and take some ballet classes to get my training a little more in shape. I also continued to attend The Pulse and other dance conventions while in college.
My Sophomore year, I made the decision to transfer to Umass Amherst so I was able to pursue studies in Dance and Hospitality! Throughout the year, I studied Concert dance and honed in and trained in styles such as Contemporary, Jazz, Modern, Ballet, and South African Dance. Very little hip hop training was offered at other nearby Universities which I would travel and attend!
The summer before my Junior year of College, I was living in New York City and was attending the Broadway Dance Center Professional Semester! This training program was my first real introduction to the Commercial Dance Industry and I loved every second of it! I had a dual concentration in Street styles and contemporary! I was introduced to more styles of dance such as Heels, Vogue, House and Dancehall. I had multiple performing opportunities within and outside of the training program. Once the summer was over, I knew the commercial dance industry was exactly what I wanted to pursue.
Throughout my Junior and Senior years, I would continue my college education. Nights, I would work at a local restaurant and long weekends, I would continue to travel into New York City to attend classes and workshops training under big name Choreographers.
A Highlight of my Senior year was having the opportunity to dance on MTV’s TRL and dance in the opening number of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!
After graduating from college, I ended up moving to New York City and really stepped my feet deeper into the industry. I trained intensely at Broadway Dance Center and attended numerous amounts of workshops. I was taking around nine dance classes a week and also attending any open call auditions.
After only four months of living in New York City, I booked my first job with Royal Caribbean.
My contract with Royal Caribbean was a total of 11 months! Two months were spent in Miami at their rehearsal studio and the other nine months were spent living and performing on Symphony of the Seas. Currently known as the largest cruise ship in the world! I performed in an Aqua showcase called HiRO as a featured dancer. I loved everything about performing on stage Live in front of an audience. I can honestly say I never got tired of performing the show every night.
My contract with Royal was an amazing experience to perform, travel and save money! It also left me realizing that I was hungry for more. Hungry to perform again. Hungry to continue my dance journey. So I packed my bags and moved to the city of Los Angeles!
Before the Pandemic happened, I was training in studio taking up to nine classes a week. I trained at studios such as Movement Lifestyle, Millennium and Kreative Mindz. I also attended multiple workshops with well known LA Choreographers. Throughout all my training I was also meeting new people, building connections and making new circles!
And here we are today! I must say I am super appreciative of the amount of free time this pandemic has brought. It has really allowed me to work with my own creativity. Although I do continue training virtually with LA choreographs I have also been creating a lot of projects for myself. I have been thoroughly enjoying creating my own choreography, filming and editing my videos and sharing my work with whomever!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Although my journey may appear to have been a smooth road, it definitely was not. There were lots of struggles with patience throughout my training throughout my various auditions and throughout the jobs I have booked. I have been told No numerous times or I would just never hear anything back and assume it’s a No. I have been belittled and I have been underestimated by some of my peers. Also, being a Black woman in this industry is not the easiest.
One thing I struggled with the most was the acceptance over my hair from other people. I loved every curl, every frizz and all the volume my crown embraced, but for others it was seen as different. Because of my beautiful texture, I wasn’t able to wear my hair like the others I performed or danced alongside with. I had to straighten my hair in order to look identical with others. When my hair was out and natural I had been compared to a persons pet… When I try to protect my curls by braiding my hair I am told that I am drastically changing my appearance! There are so many other issues Black Women deal with throughout the industry but that was one that I have dealt with a lot!
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a Professional Dancer that specializes in a variety of different styles of dance! Currently, I am focusing on Hip hop and Jazz funk styles, but I have a passion for more styles such as dancehall/ afro beats, heels, contemporary and house.
I am known for being a fierce, hardworking and versatile dancer. I’m also known for my unique creativity when it comes to choreographing, filming and editing.
I am most proud of my constant push to keep following my passion and to continue to keep growing and learning throughout my journey.
Something that sets me apart from others is that I don’t give up easily. Even with all the struggle, I know I have a bigger purpose so I don’t allow any of the struggles to affect me. I just keep on going whether you like it or not! Also, something else that sets me apart from others is my constant approach for unity in diversity! The one thing I love about the dance industry is that it is so diverse and so many people from around the world come together for the love of one thing, Dance! So I always make sure to put myself out in diverse communities/environments.
What were you like growing up?
I was an only child! So it was just me, myself and I most of the time. But I was also involved in All-Star Cheerleading and Gymnastics and so many other sports. I guess I really liked to stay active and keep moving. When I was really young, I entertained myself by coming up with cheer and dance routines in my moms living room. I may have broken her couch because of all my creativity lol! Personality-wise… When I was younger, I would say I was more of the shy introvert type, but also still very involved. Now I’m definitely a lot more outgoing!
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_asiamiller_/
- Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/ajaliesa1
- Other: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC6NcYLNHyrTSFRRMN3w0HYg
Wes Klain (5 professional photos), Maurice Oketch (1 Fun Headshot)