Want to know more about the dancers from Pretty big movement? We asked them a bunch of questions about their experience and they gave some pretty big and awesome answers!
What was it like sneaking around and hiding everything from Akira?
Zee: Sneaking around and hiding everything from Akira was so funny and hard at the same time because she is the type of individual who has to know everything. I remember her calling me the day of the shoot and I couldn’t answer. All I could do is laugh because she sent me a text that stated, “I know you see me calling, pick up”. Akira is something else but I love her whole heartedly.
One up: It was a bit scary because it’s our first time doing something without her knowing and she’s our leader who wouldn’t want their leader in this experience! So I would wonder is she going to love it! It was like walking on rocks, then being at rehearsal just knowing the extra work we been doing without her knowing and at times getting questions why I stepped out the room, but could not say I was on the video chat with Penningtons, oh my god was it risky but so worth seeing Akira so happy the way she was!
Cakes (co-captain): Stressful to say the least, but I knew it would be worth it in the end.
What was your favourite part about the whole experience?
Zee: My favorite part of the experience was the big reveal. The expression on Akira’s face was priceless. You can tell that she genuinely enjoyed everything that was put together for her. Each tear that fell down her face represented the hard work, dedication, commitment and passion. This is not just a hobby it’s a lifestyle. Dance is definitely LIFE!
Baby Girl: My favorite part about the whole experience was when we went to the studio to record the song. It was my first time so I was nervous but excited. But it was cool, I had an amazing time.
Teece: My favorite part of the entire experience was the reveal of the song, and being able to collect footage on the rooftop of the loft as well as on the New York City subway. The nerves and suspense of the surprise had subsided by that time, and with Akira around the group felt complete again. I was able to get lost in the music and enjoy being a dancer.
What was it like to be in the studio and helping with the vocals in the song?
Teece: Being in the studio, assisting in the completion of the song was a dream come true. My background prior to age 19, was in vocal performance. I had begun singing when I was 5 years old and always envisioned myself being able to record a track. To be in a space knowing that my voice was going to be a part of such an empowering song was not only ground breaking, trendsetting, and powerful, but it was absolutely surreal and unbelievably satisfying.
One up: I love the studio time, it was stepping into the shoes of those who love to sing, I always wanted to sing since a child, I was in school choirs and would love helping my friend with their records they would make here and there. To finally have a feel of a real session on something more meaningful to each of us was fulfilling.
Cakes (co-captain): I was intimidated at first, but the reassurance from all parties involved gave me the confidence to keep going.
Which song lyric is your favourite and why?
Baby Girl: My favorite lyric of the song is “Excuse me world, I’m gonna have it my way, I wanna do it my way, I should do it my way” because all my life, people tried to control me and make decisions for me. As I got older I learned how to speak for myself and I made decisions on my own. I do what’s best for me which is why this song lyric relates to me the most.
I have two:
” Here I am , elevated
I used to be humiliated
ended up the queen of my kingdom
curves so smooth you wish that you had them” and
“That crown is mine I’m taking it
Move to the side and watch me to my thing”
These two are my favorite because they go hand in hand , I’m taking my dreams and I’m confident that it will be my career I won’t work a boring 9 to 5 job or a stressful management job that I have been doing for 4 years , and I feel who ever doubted that because of my size or just because it’s really competitive and people worry that I’m wasting time on a dream then safety , or those who abandoned me when I needed their loyalty , or those who judged me are now going to see that I did it ! No matter what they thought, and when they left me they just made me a better person and I would only want to share this journey with those who never doubted me and contribute to my growth! And no matter what I learn to do things my way cause if it wasn’t for me trusting myself I wouldn’t be where I am. And then that’s going to inspire whoever else to walk in my shoes curvy like myself or anyone who is willing to take this risk, but I say everything is a risk even that 9 to 5 job.
Alina: To be honest I never heard of a professional dance group having their own anthem… So as a matter of fact the whole song is my favorite part. PRETTY BIG N AWESOME!!
What do you want everyone to know about Pretty Big Movement that they don’t know already?
Zee: I want everyone to know that Pretty BIG isn’t perfect but the strong bond that we have outweighs everything. We are here for a reason. Our Mission is to inspire and save lives with one dance step at a time. We are here to STAY!
One up: Each of us has something to bring to the table, we are all different but at the same time we make a delicious blend, it’s never easy when we in the studio even thought people say we make it look easy. But since we all different and we came from different backgrounds in dance, it gets tricky but we love the art of dance, and that’s what makes us push to get it right as a unity! We also all have day jobs or night jobs so we are hard workers and most of the time we are tired or have to always be flexible with changes and that can be so difficult but we know, the outcome is greater so we make that sacrifice and we help each other out and make sure we train aside form Rehearsal days and work days!
Alina: All of us are intelligent and proactive members in our community. Pretty Big Z and our PR Representative Sura are educators. Akira, Rev, Baby Girl, Teece, Fatima Yana and One Up are or were teaching artists. C. Cakes is a bartender at an establishment owned by a social activist. And I’m currently Co-chair and community organizer for one of the biggest social justice organizations of NYC. I’m glad that all of us are giving back to our communities every chance we get.