Today we’d like to introduce you to Yaminah Legohn.
Yaminah, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m a Los Angeles native and I’ve been performing since childhood. I took a lot of dance classes, such as West African dance, Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Hip Hop and immensely involved in my community.
My father is a musician and my mother used to sing in a group, so I was surrounded by a plethora of talent.
I performed throughout elementary school, junior high, high school and college. I started my professional dance and choreography career and signed with an agency after graduating from high school.
I juggled being a professional dancer while in college and worked multiple jobs. In order to pay bills, I have worked as a bartender, personal trainer, shoe sales associate, dance teacher and hairstylist, just to name a few of my jobs.
I call myself the #1Hustla
At the same time, I was creating my own dance concepts and choreographing pieces for artists. After I graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in Speech Communication and Dance, I was able to go full throttle and focus on my career.
The Hollywood game was tough, but I managed to work with a lot of great artists. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Shakira, Sean Paul, N.E.R.D., Killa Mike, Lil Wayne, B.o.B., Tony Toni Toné and many more!
I’ve appeared on stage, film, TV and commercials such as FAME, MTV’s “Non Stop Summer”, Disney’s “Phineas & Ferb,” and “So Random,” “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” BET’s “F In Fabulous,” Afro Punk and The Apollo.
In 2011, I left Hollywood because I was tired of dealing with colorism and the lack of opportunities for brown skin and dark skin black women.
I felt that New York was a better place to be as an artist and a place where I could express my full artistic abilities. So, I left Los Angeles to train at Alvin Ailey in New York, thinking at the time, I would only be there for four months.
I fell in love with the culture and diversity, after that I decided to stay longer than planned, nine years longer.
During these past nine years, I’ve managed to accomplish many things. I started my business, Art Of Legohn® in Los Angeles in 2010, and brought it to New York in 2011 to build my business and my brand.
I formed Art Of Legohn as an LLC and trademarked multiple brands on my own. I started producing shows like Red Light Special: A Night Of Urban Burlesque®, events like Dancehall Battle NYC® and hiring performers for professional projects all around New York City and I did this while working on my solo entertainment career.
I left LA as a choreographer and professional dancer, but returned to LA as a business owner, producer, director, well- rounded choreographer and entertainer, and an overall mature and boss lady!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Not at all.
I had to work hard to get what I wanted and it took blood, sweat and tears.
As a woman in the entertainment industry, especially in Hollywood, I felt I always had to be ‘on alert’ with men because there were some who would try to take advantage of me and others.
Colorism was also a challenge due to the lack of opportunities for brown skin ladies like myself. There was always the “token black girl” and this put many black women against each other in the industry.
I’m grateful that I was confident in myself and had a good foundation in order for me to stay the course and put myself in positions to manifest the opportunities I wanted.
Despite these challenges, I always stood up for myself and sometimes it worked in my favor and sometimes it didn’t, but overall people respected me.
As a business owner, my biggest challenge is finding candidates who are efficient and can assist me administratively and behind the scenes. My work ethic is strong and nonstop, and since my business is important to me, I require team members that believe in the brand and my mission.
I’m grateful for my team who helped me push my vision and brand, I’m always open to new talent and go-getters.
Art Of Legohn, LLC – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Art Of Legohn, LLC is a multimedia arts and entertainment company that specializes in dance, music, visual arts using creative entertainment for stage, film, television, commercial and the community. Our virtual platform contains talk shows, artist’s discussions, virtual classes and health tips provided by a professional dietician.
Home of the talented Art Of Legohn Dance Company, the sizzling show Red Light Special: A Night Of Urban Burlesque® and the entertaining and cultural event Dancehall Battle NYC®.
The company was founded in 2010 by Artistic Director, Choreographer, Professional dancer, Yaminah Legohn. Our mission is to inspire, entertain and educate our audience through performances, arts & education, productions, and community engagements.
We strive to represent black culture and people of color while providing services to the youth and adults. Our dance division performs a variety of dance styles such as West African, Hip Hop, Dancehall, Afrobeats, Jazz, Aerial, Burlesque, Modern, Contemporary and more!
Art of Legohn® has been featured at The Apollo, House Of Yes, Afropunk, BET’s “F In Fabulous,” Paper Magazine, Brooklyn Museum’s Kehinde Wiley Experience, International African Arts Festival in NYC, Malaria No More Gala, Ladies Of Hip Hop Festival, RAW Artists (Los Angeles and New York City), Choreographer’s Ball “Carnival” (Los Angeles and New York City)
Our Visual Artists have been exhibited at Natural Blend, Trap x Art Gallery, Fiyah Productions Dancehall Theater, Daddy Greens Pizza in New York, RAW Artists Los Angeles and New York City.
What set’s my business apart is that we not only focus on arts, culture and entertainment, we also focus on the business of art. We encourage our artists to be on top of their business so they can be overall successful.
What also sets us apart is, we focus on the audience’s experience and how they are entertained and educated during our performances. I love leaving them with something to be inspired and motivated by.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Some of my proud moments have been the opportunity to work with dynamic individuals and artists from Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and from all over the world.
Recently, I was a judge for the NAACP ACT-SO national competition for the performing arts segment, specifically, the traditional dance category. I was honored to participate in this event.
In my career as a professional dancer and choreographer, I’ve worked with many celebrities but my most memorable jobs include dancing on Disney, performing with Shakira, being on tour with Tony Toni Toné and gracing the stage at The Apollo.
I’ve been featured in Dance Mogul Magazine, Dance Spirit Magazine, Paper Magazine, YV Magazine, etc. and I love the fact that people have been interested in my work and story.
My show, Red Light Special: A Night Special Of Urban Burlesque® has become a successful show with over 200 audience members, a full cast of dancers, actors, aerialists, visual artists, musicians and a full on experience. In addition, I’m proud to be using my voice as an artist and activist.
Currently, I’m a talk show host for my show Red Light Special Live and for Young Boss Media’s Make Lemonade where I have the opportunity to discuss art, politics and what’s going on in the world with dynamic women and artists.
Before my career took off, I was honored with a NAACP Speech Award and I am a former Debutante. I’m proud of those moments because it taught me to believe in myself and that my voice matters.
- Website: https://www.yaminahlegohn.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yaminahlegohn/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artoflegohn/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/yaminahlegohn
- Company Website: https://www.artoflegohn.com/
Photographers @kennyrodz, @still1, @lauriane_ogay_photography
Dancers: Queen Ravenden, Rita 2 It, DHQ Jukeboxx, Alicia Hutchinson, Jessica Figueroa, Jon Jõni, Mrs. Sugar Brown, Madia Hill Scott, Kaleila Jordan, Apollo Sa’Deek, Karin Tatsuoka, Valentine Vogt, Crystal Burgass, Shawna Pops, Kiara Thomas, Pyrotechs, Bling Evo, L.A.S Bigga, One Nation Dancerz, Djembe Drummer, Khary Kamau, Visual Artists: Shayla Russell, Asha Quwan, Hallie Kruger, Yaminah Legohn, Stylist: Yancy Greene