Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtni Poe.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Courtni. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Crazy story! I’m from Nashville, TN and I was preparing to move to NYC in the Fall of 2018. Earlier that year, I was accepted into Dana Foglia’s six weeks program here in LA in February of 2018. During that time in the program, my relationship ended so I just canceled my flight and stayed here in Los Angeles.
I had my best friend sell my car and move my things out of the place I was living in Nashville and I’ve been here ever since! I couch surfed and lived out of a suitcase for months!
I believe a big part of my career that got me where I am today is my films/choreography. I’ve been creating dance films & choreographing since I was 16. When I brought that to LA it opened a lot of doors for me and put me around the right people.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has been so far from smooth. It’s been super hectic actually haha. I’ve never had a supportive family. The transition into adulthood started for me around age 14. My mom wasn’t in my life much in high school, and my dad wasn’t in my life until the end of high school. A big struggle for me was that I was kicked out of my home at age 17 for auditioning for a performing arts high school instead of applying to school for business. I’ve been on my own ever since. That was extremely hard because I was always living with my friends etc. Dance wise, I was never the best. I was never the star. I worked extremely hard but never felt like I was meant to be a dancer. I was always the student who questioned everything and wanted to be in charge/create the work.
So during that time, I felt really lost and like I didn’t fit in. Mainly because dancing was never my goal, choreography always was. Until I moved to LA! Then I felt like I finally was where I belong…and that maybe I actually could also pursue a professional career in dance.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
So at the moment, my choreography career has gotten a bit of momentum, which has been super cool. In LA me and my bestfriend Brandon are known for making these conceptual dance films. Right now our projects have been inspired by Louis Vuitton Campaigns mixed with world issues. We get a lot of our other talented friends involved and it becomes an entire production. I love creative direction, film, and choreography. So at the moment this has been my focus. I feel as though my choreography/social media has really helped me book some of the most amazing dance jobs which is also super cool and something I feel very proud of. More specifically, my heels choreography has been something that’s gained a lot of momentum lately. I’ve heard from people who take my class that it’s new, fresh, different and feels good on their bodies…So that is something I’m excited to continue evolving and super proud of.
Brandon and I also just started a new workshop called “The Shot” which teaches kids ages 12+ how to choreograph their own dance films. We had our first workshop in Nashville and it sold out. So we’re super excited to keep working on that!
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I’m hoping in more fields than just on stage for artists. My biggest goal is to choreograph for major fashion brands. I think movement is so essential to everything. So my hope is that (sooner than 5-10 years) we as an industry can place ourselves in more places that can bring long term effects…more than just musicians!
And more conceptual dance films. We have the best equipment at the moment. I would love to see dance and film go further than a “class video.”
I also hope for more African American representation in all genres of dance. Not just limited to “hip hop” and “urban styles”. But, I think things are headed in the right direction.
- Website: courtnipoe.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @CourtniPoe
- Facebook: Courtni Poe
@ruthfruit, @brandonesparza, @alex_c013