We had the good fortune of connecting with Jamilah ‘Milah’ Lucas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jamilah ‘Milah’, why did you pursue a creative career?
I don’t think that I chose dance as an artistic career for I believe that it chose me. Growing up in school, I had went through some hard times with peers and people not liking me because I was different. Dance was the only time I felt like nothing else mattered as long as I could release my emotions through movement. After experiencing depression in high school, I thought, God what if I could mentor kids through the art of dance who are going through or went through hard times. What if other kids need to release their emotions to feel something other than the pain from which they’re suffering. What if I could make kids see an artist and not what the world thinks of them. I remember my senior year, writing up a business plan to start my own performing arts studio in my chemistry class and feeling this overwhelming joy and excitement come over me. That’s when I knew that this is what I’m suppose to be doing. It was the moment I felt I had a purpose and that purpose is if I could change one students life or make one student feel that they have a purpose and what it takes to be an artist, it would make me feel happy.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think what sets me apart from other dance teachers in the area is I believe in training dancers professionally at a very young age. In other words, by the time my students reach age 5, I give options for private lessons. In ballet, I use the Vaganova (Russian) method. Students who have trained under me privately have been invited to represent the USA at international grand prix. Students have gone on to receive full scholarships into universities, world renowned summer dance intensives, and conventions. Also, a student alumni is a graduate of Booker T Washington Visual and Performing Arts High School and my students have also been offered the opportunity to enter year round trainee programs with Joffrey Ballet before they had reached the age of 13.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my bestfriend was in town, I would want to take her to Spa Castle or King Spa. I love spas to just sit back and relax. Also, the food at both places are authentic and amazing. I also like the Ktv Bar in Carollton for Karaoke fun, when you privately want to have a party or get together. You don’t have to worry about being disturbed or leaving your room to make a food order. Each room represents a different country. I love North Park Mall because it has a large variety of stores to shop in or if you want to take a sceneric mile long walk indoors.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First, I would like to give shout out to God, for keeping me and showing me the way. Second, I would like to thank my parents for showing me what real love and dedication looks like. My parents have always supported and let me be the person I am today, even if they themselves didn’t understand my efforts at the time. Third, I would like to thank my late ballet teacher, Renee Gillenwater (Ms. Sissy), for believing in me when, at one point, I stopped believing in myself. I will never forget that conversation we had. I am stronger because of it. And lastly, my family and bestfriends who always supported my dreams and never once made me feel bad about my success. I am grateful and blessed for all the people who believed in me and my success.
Showstopper American Dance Championship Italia International Grand Prix Milah Lucas