PLAY LOUD with
HOT IN HEELS
Meet the members of the Toronto dance crew Hot in Heels, a movement centered around inclusivity, empowerment, and confidence.
. How did you join Hot in Heels dance company and what is it like being a part of it?
Elisha: I joined Hot in Heels back in 2015 after attending a heels workshop and receiving a scholarship into the company. Hot in Heels has been a constant in my life for the past 6 years. It's been my home away from home, where I feel safe, empowered, and valued. Being a part of this company has been so vital in my journey and career as a dancer in this city. I wouldn't be where I am today if it hadn't been for Hot in Heels.
. Dance is a big part of your life. What has it taught you about yourself and brought out in you?
Elisha: Dance, as a career, has been the most challenging, uplifting, terrifying, humbling, and rewarding avenue I've ever taken on. It's not for the faint of heart, and it pushes you to your limits physically, mentally, and emotionally. Without it, I wouldn't have learned how resilient I am. I wouldn't know how confident I could be. And I wouldn't have an outlet to express myself in the only way I know how. Most importantly, it's taught me about hard work and dedication, how to trust in the process, and to celebrate myself and my achievements, big and small.
Gemma: Dance makes me feel so many emotions. Dancing in heels, specifically, has taught me to love my body and to be more confident in myself and my sensuality, whereas hip hop has influenced me the most when it comes to style and movement within its own and bringing it into other dance styles. Dance brings me so much joy. Without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I’m so grateful.
. What is your favorite way to stay creative, especially during a pandemic?
A. Christine: I like to listen to music that reflects my mood. Once I'm in the zone, I let the music persuade me into expressing myself through whatever medium I feel in the moment...whether that's movement (dance), watching old music videos, or experimenting with new editing techniques.
. What does “Play loud. Stay you” mean to you?
Katherine: “Play loud. Stay you” means being unapologetically and authentically you. Speaking your truth and not caring what others may think about you. PERIOD!
. What is your passion and how do you stay motivated?
Katherine: Dance is my passion and is one of the ways I stay motivated, especially during times like this. I’m able to express my deepest thoughts through movement. It’s freeing, it’s therapeutic, it’s one of the rare moments I can zone in and better myself.
. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Stella: I’m most proud of continuing to follow what I’m passionate about, being successful and really enjoying it, As well as dancing for the Raptors Dance Pak, working for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, and being on a Netflix series. Just knowing that it was possible makes me proud.
. Who is your biggest inspiration?
Gemma: My parents. They put me in dance classes at a very young age and saw that I enjoyed them, so they pushed me to continue. At age 14, I started taking it more seriously as I was inspired by all the dancers in music videos and movies like “Step Up”, “Save the Last Dance”, and “Honey”.
. What advice would you give to aspiring dancers?
Stella: My Advice would be, don’t mold into a dancer you think you’re supposed to be. Stay true to what feels right vs forcing your movement based on what others think is good. Secondly, commitment. You have a goal? You have to do the work to reach it. 50% commitment equals 50% results. You have to build a consistent work ethic to grow and build yourself into the monster you’re supposed to be.
. What is your dream collaboration?
Christine: Rihanna is everything to me! I’d be down for any type of collab with Riri.