Princess Lockerooo, Director, Choreographer and Queen of Waacking, Shares Her Ever-Evolving Love of Dance
Why do I dance? The answer to this question is ever evolving. When I began dancing 18 years ago, my reason was simple. I wanted to exercise without “exercising,” and I had dreams of Broadway. My plan was to brush up my tap and jazz and land a role. The universe had other plans. I wound up in hip-hop, locking, popping, house and waacking classes. I soon became a regular in the New York City underground club dance scene, where the best dancers got down in cyphers till the wee hours of the morning.
I fell in love with dance and decided to devote every part of myself to becoming a dancer. My life changed, and so did my why. I wanted to be able to freestyle like the incredible club dancers. I wanted to build the courage to get into a cypher. The clubs became my sanctuary. Dance was my therapy, my release, the only thing I looked forward to.
After becoming Princess Lockerooo and competing in dance battles, my why changed again. It became all about the win. For the first time ever, waacking became a staple category in street-dance battles, and all I wanted was to win a waacking battle. Of all the many stages and platforms I have danced on in my life, nothing gives you a rush like a battle. I became addicted to that feeling. At that time I was not yet a professional dancer, so battles were my stage. They were my chance to earn “street cred” and show the world who I was.
I was in my mid-20s, and my love and obsession for waacking grew. It allowed me to grow into the woman I am; it helped me find confidence and allowed me to truly embrace and love myself. It transformed me.
My personal transformation yet again changed my why. I became a teacher because I wanted other disempowered individuals to experience the transformation that I had. I began spreading the gospel of waacking throughout every corner of the world. My why for dance shifted from being about myself to being about empowering others, building communities and carrying on the legacy that was passed on to me by my dear teacher Tyrone Proctor.
This is my why today. Also because it still makes me happy, and because after 18 years of working hard in this industry I now have opportunities and platforms to create work with incredibly talented dancers and bring my visions to life. It has been an amazing journey thus far. I don’t know what my why will be down the road, but I am certain that I will always dance.