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Meet Syann Cromwell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Syann Cromwell.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My ‘story’ is constantly evolving. I’d say it begins when I started dancing at the age of five; training both in studio and taking less formal (but equally important) lessons in my cousin’s living room. Dance has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and I have dedicated myself to pursuing this passion both physically and academically; researching dance as it functions in the world. Dance is my tool for understanding myself and the world I live in, and my means for impacting the world. Another pivotal moment in my story is beginning my studies at USC in 2016 as a first-generation college student; now in my senior year at the university. I double major in Philosophy, Politics and Law, African American studies and minor in Communication (emphasis in Culture, Media and Entertainment). This journey has taught me so much about myself and revealed other passions like modeling, event production, public speaking and being instrumental in the growth of the black community. Each new layer I discover of myself informs my journey and pushes my reality beyond what I could have imagined for myself.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Definitely not. Family has been both one of my greatest sources of struggle and motivation. Financial crises, health crises, you name it. I choose not to share my struggles with the world or even dwell on them too much personally. In any situation, I remain grateful for all of the positives, take feedback from the situation and remain optimistic of the future. This is a mindset that has developed through the hardships and I’m grateful for that as well.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a dancer and producer. I’m the creator, producer and co-host of a live event on USC’s campus called First Friday, a celebration of art and culture from the surrounding community. My October event was in collaboration with Universal Music Group. I’ve produced and spearheaded dance performances for music festivals on campus. I organized a brand collaboration between BABE and Aradi Boutique for USC’s 2019 Homecoming tailgate on October 19th, leveraging my connections to both brands to create a moment. I had my first public speaking engagement earlier the same day, delivering a speech at the world’s first National Period Day rally in LA to spread awareness of period poverty, a global issue affecting millions of women who lack access to sanitary products. Basically, I am the catalyst of great and impactful experiences. Everything that I do serves to advance culture in new ways; using dance, music, and entertainment as the vehicle with an emphasis on the expression of black, radical feminist thought. I have exciting productions and entrepreneurial endeavors that I am working on currently and look forward to introducing to the world soon.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success for me is ultimately finding peace and spreading joy. Being able to share my expressions with the world, serving people and being instrumental in their growth are markers of that goal. Also, never being boxed into one category or descriptor. I am a very multidimensional creator and I want my platforms to translate that same kind of freedom in all of their respective areas. For me, personal notoriety or fame is not an element of success, but rather a consequence of it. My work is often done in the background or with a small group of people and I’m not concerned with my name being on the front of everything. Don’t get me wrong, acknowledgment is great and necessary to some extent, but the personal satisfaction that I gain out of seeing people enjoying my event or something I’ve influenced is where the real reward lies.

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Image Credit:
Kieth Bienert (Abstract beauty shot), Avery Davis (2 Event photos: art table, hosting), Jadon Joyner (Dance photos)

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