Blog contributor Ekemode Seun caught up with dancer and choreographer Hilary Jackson to talk passion, dance, and artistic journey. Here’s what he had to say.
What do you do for a living ?
I Dance For A Living
How would you describe what you do?
I describe what i do as a Profession, An Occupation I engage in to earn a Living.
What does your work entail?
My work entails Physical Activity, Educative,Entertaining,professionalism.
What’s a typical work week like?
My typical work fee varies depending on a kind of job. But per show I charge #200k as an Individual Dance to perform. but as a Group or Crew I charge 50k per dancer depending on the kind of Genre of Dance required.
How did you get started?
I started since primary school representing my school in inter-school competitions, but I started professionally from the humble age of 12yrs old.
What do you like about what you do?
It’s convenient, It’s safe time, it’s fun to do because it’s what I love doing, it’s brings prestige & honour.
What do you dislike?
I dislike disrespect from people, I hate gossiping, dislike disloyal, dishonest, & untrustworthy people.
How do you make money/or how are you compensated?
I make money by offering dance services to clients for their Events..
How much money do Choreographers/dancers make?
I can’t speak for others,but for me as a professional Choreography I charge per hour depending on the kind of job either musical video, choreographing wedding couples, & private Dance classes. Moreover the price is not fixed.
How much money did/do you make starting out as a Choreographer?
I made 50k starting out as a choreographer & I choreograph for almost a week.
What education, schooling, or skills are needed to do this?
You need to be educated so as to teach an individual mentally. Then you need professional skills to teach an individual physically. Also you need to graduate for a professional Dance Academy or school to have full professional skills to teach
How did you fall in love with dance?
I fell in love with dance way back 1989 when my dad use to play oldschool music. I love the good sound, melody, funk, afro hair & it’s style. All this made me fell in love in dance.
Who was your inspiration on your road to becoming a dancer and choreographer?
Michael Jackson, Michael Boogaloo Chambers Shrimp of the movie Breaking 1984.
Before starting a new project, what’s the first place you look for inspiration?
I seek God’s Wisdom, knowledge & understanding throufh prayers & counselling from my pastor/prophet before carrying out any project.
Is there anyone you haven’t worked with yet but would love to?
yeah, I look forward working with professional Dancer choreographer in America, London,Canada,France & Germany.
How do you go about communicating with artists and their different brands and identities through dance?
I submit proposals to companies with my profile,Dance videos & other valuable art works to get jobs. Also I get more referrer from one clients to the other.
If you weren’t a dancer and choreographer what else do you think you would be doing?
I would have be acting or doing comedy movie or Stand-up comedy.
What choreography in a music video do you wish you had created?
Zombie Song by Fela…I wish I was given endorsed by Fela’s family to be the creator or choreographer of that song for life. But I already did it p
To honour the Great Legendary Fela which is on YouTube now.
What is most challenging about what you do?
Not having more flow of money in the Dance Industry like Music industry. Also clients don’t encourage us by paying us high just like a musical artist because we do more in the entertainment industry.
What is most rewarding?
What is most rewarding is that we ate beginnings to gain recognition like Musical Artist which is making us stand out as a Brand in the entertainment industry.
What advice would you give for someone just wanting to start out?
My advice is for the person to attend a Standard Dance Academy or school to gain more skills about dance before going out to teach or choreograph anybody, or project
How much time off do you get/take?
In 24hours a day, I rehearse 12hours everyday so I get 6hours off per day then I use the remaining 6hours for personal things.
What is a common misconception people have about what you do?
The common misconception people have about what I do is that they think am a GAY. They also think am a womanizer because women flock around me as a dancer.
What are your goals/dreams for the future?
To own a Dance TV Stations & host a yearly Dance Concert for encouraged & enlightened Young Dancers why they should see dance as a Profession & not an hobby alone.
What else would you like people to know about your job/career?
I want people to know I do Dance Internationally. I perform for both local & international stages. Moreover, I am a Graduate Of Lagos State University. I am sound mentally & physically.
Another close to my heart is “Inspire yourself, great! Inspire others, even better!”
Interviewed by Ekemode Seun