Connect
To Top

Meet Monika Felice Smith

Today we’d like to introduce you to Monika Felice Smith.

Monika, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’m a professional dancer, choreographer, instructor from NY, primarily based in Los Angeles, CA. Having transitioned to the contemporary & commercial hiphop world from classical ballet & pointe, my choreography blends a fusion of both contemporary & hiphop vibes. I began my journey through dance at the tender age of three and continue to love it just as much as I did when I began. I moved out to Los Angeles about 3.5 years ago without the intention of pursuing dance and choreography as a career. I took class simply because I love how I feel when I move. However fate had another plan for me. After my third dance class here, I booked my first music video in LA…thus naturally surfaced the idea that maybe I still had a chance to pursue this thing for real. I then made the promise to always be my best self and generate ultimate happiness with all that I choose to do in my life, and dance was just that.

From there, my career propelled and I began dancing every day of my life; Making connections with choreographers and taking tons of class. I signed with my agency, Go 2 Talent, for dance & choreography and I continue to live my dream day-in and day-out.

I teach privates, group classes and masterclasses all over Los Angeles and the United States. I set solos, small groups & production pieces for dance competition teams alongside choreographing for Television, Film, musicians, artists and brands.

I’m a story teller who believes whether you’re a novice, pre-professional or professional mover, there’s a story in you waiting to surface… I get to pull those stories out of the movers that I work with and that’s pretty cool.

My strength lies in fusing movement with intention & raw emotion. I enjoy playing with shape, texture and musicality, while grounding my choreography with technical elements.

I travel, meet new people and share my love of movement with the world. My training reminds movers of our core reason for moving in the first place; the feeling of love we share and having the freedom to express our bodies however we want. Telling stories with our bodies; it’s our therapy.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Born with an unusual developmental defect in my hips known as Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, the doctors would never have predicted “dancer” as my career choice… but I’m not one to take the opinion of others as the final word. With the help of my amazing family, modern medicine and the fire of determination, I beat the odds for sure.

I was fortunate enough to heal within one year of treatment and danced vigorously all throughout my childhood and teenage years. Much like many dancers growing up, I suffered from body dysmorphia and strange eating patterns. I would starve myself and binge eat and weighed myself morning and night. As sad as it sounds, I always viewed myself as a “bigger” dancer and never thought I was “thin” enough. Although I knew this way of thinking was not healthy for my young body and brain, it was hard for me to get out of that mind set while stuck in the mirrors in the dance studio on a daily basis. I decided to take a healthy break from the toxic relationship I created with dance. I bounced around to different colleges, switched my major a ton but finally graduated with a degree in Interior Design from FIT in New York City and only danced recreationally for a while.

Now, I’m actually grateful for my struggle with food and my body. I openly talk about it in my classes with my students. I feel it allows for a more inviting space. There is always someone to connect with and in need of some guidance.

Monika Felice Smith – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My credits include Michael Jackson’s Lip Sync Battle Live Tribute on the new Paramount Network, music videos with artists such as Meghan Trainor, Jeremih, Jay Rock & Elle King, dancing at the Staples Center as a member of the WNBA Sparks Hip Hop Crew, choreographing for feature films, commercials, music videos & live performances for artists, musicals, and teaching master classes & workshops in LA & all over the United States.

My work has been shouted out by Justin Timberlake as ‘One to watch’. My choreography has been featured in the industry’s longest running showcase, Choreographer’s Carnival Ball at the legendary Avalon in Hollywood, as well as LA’s Premier Showcase, Club Jete at Rage Night Club. My stage work has been nominated for “Outstanding Choreography”, “Best Choreography” & was awarded “Outstanding Production” at the National Youth Theatre Awards & the JRAY Awards. I’m also a member of, Willdabeast Adams, Janelle Ginestra & MaryAnn Chavez’s Contemporary Company, IMMABreathe.

I am grateful to have the ability to spread my joy and love of dancing. I’m a story teller who believes whether you’re a novice, pre-professional or professional mover, there’s a story in you waiting to be told… I get to pull those stories out of the movers that I work with.

My strength lies in fusing movement with intention & raw emotion. I enjoy playing with shape, texture and musicality, while grounding my choreography with technical elements.

I travel, meet new people and share my love of movement with the world. My training reminds movers of our core reason for moving in the first place; the feeling of love we share and having the freedom to express our bodies however we want. Telling stories with our bodies. It’s our therapy.

I love to travel, meet new people and share my love of movement with the world. My training reminds movers of our core reason for moving in the first place; the feeling of love we share and having the freedom to express our bodies however we want. Telling stories with our bodies. It’s our therapy.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is relative. Success for me is making a living off of what truly brings me joy and creative fulfillment. It’s also important to not take yourself too seriously and enjoy the ride that life brings. Living in the present moment is super important to me and supporting those I choose to surround myself with. We cannot grow without others to support us on the way and vice versa.

I’m constantly checking in, asking myself questions and holding myself accountable for my own happiness. “Am I satisfied with where I am? And if not, what can I do to change the way I feel and get myself on the right track.” Speaking to yourself is extremely important.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Theodore Patrick Johnson, Marie Buck, Robert Fisher, Alicia Fischmeister

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in