Why We Love Ebony Williams

September 29, 2016

Ebony Williams is many things: an original “Single Lady,” a former Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet member, a backup dancer for Beyoncé, Rihanna, Fergie and Ciara. Though right now she’s slaying with Beyoncé on the Formation World Tour, she will never be easy to categorize or pin down. But that’s just one of the many reasons we wanted to put the contemporary/commercial chameleon on our cover.

PC Jayme Thornton

Her style is totally individual, yet super enviable.

Those sneaks, though. Props to her stylist Martin Tordby for the fresh looks she was sporting at our cover shoot.

She isn’t afraid to be vulnerable.

What do you do when the company you’ve been dancing with for the past ten years shuts down? When Cedar Lake unexpectedly folded, Williams was shocked—but she didn’t let it slow her down. “My goal was to try everything—and to be okay with not being perfect.”

Her social media game is on point.

Hanging out with Beyoncé 24/7 is kind of a big deal. But Williams doesn’t let it go to her head. Her Instagram is a down-to-earth peek at her life (including the occasional Bey cameo!).

She never stops working.

Williams told writer Rachel Zar: “I always have pointe shoes with me. I’ll do relevés while I watch ‘Law & Order’ or HGTV.” In addition to touring the world with Beyoncé, she finds time to get back to her Cedar Lake roots by dancing in side projects with Francesca Harper and Richard Siegal.

She inspires young dancers to believe in themselves.

Williams is all about mentorship—she’s hosted workshops across the country and taught at New York City Dance Alliance’s winter intensive. “I’ve felt too skinny in some situations and too big in others. I talk to kids about the fact that I’m still afraid to disappoint. I have to remind myself that I’m here because someone sees the best in me, because I can bring joy to others.”

Whether she’s getting in formation with Queen Bey or showing off her effortless classical technique, we can’t get enough of Williams. See for yourself: go behind the scenes at our October cover shoot and download the issue.

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