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The Nail Files: Kenya Joy

Kenya Joy spends 6-8 hours a day behind a bar; but not the type that serves Martinis. Behind this barre, the 24-year-old Brooklyn beauty is perfecting her pirouettes,  and ensuring her  grand battements  are powerful, as well as graceful. Dancing takes a toll on the whole body--especially the toenails. Find out how Kenya keeps them in tip-top shape and what her dance troupe, Ntrinsik Movement has whirling up.

 

Photo Credit: Hayim Heron

D.I.D. Paint: What is your fave nail trend at the moment?

Kenya Joy: My favorite nail trend is a fresh gel manicure.

What are your favorite colors to wear on your nails? Bright bold colors? Soft pastels? Dark earth tones? Nudes? Pure White?

 I love bright, bold colors and pastels for my manicures. For my pedicures I have to have a pure white polish all- year round.

What is a D.I.Y regimen you can't live without?

I love body scrubs! I always have a mason jar with a mixture of Brown sugar , Honey and Lemon juice mixed up ready to go after a long week of dance rehearsals. 

As a professional dancer, you're literally always on your toes...how do you manage to keep your toe nails healthy while wearing ballet pointe shoes and tedious hours on your feet?

As a dancer, you feet are always exposed to a lot of germs. So it's very important to keep up with a pedicure every week or every other week. It's also important to carry lots of wipes to clean your feet after a rehearsal.

Who is your celebrity nail Inspiration?

I would have to say Rihanna...Love her!

Share a nail salon nightmare you've experienced or witnessed.

I've witnessed a nail tech who did not properly clean the pedicure section after finishing with one costumer and basically used the same water for the next costumer. I've never walked out of a nail salon so fast!

How many years have you been dancing?

 20 years.

What inspired you to become a professional dancer? 

My mother.  She brought me to the Dance Theatre of Harlem at the age of four years old and it's been history ever since. 

 

Photo Credit: Hayim Heron

Photo Credit: Hayim Heron

 

When was the last time you felt discouraged, and what inspired you to keep going?

When I started applying to colleges as a Dance Major. I didn't hit until this one particular audition, where I really needed to bring my A game. I remember walking into a dance audition and the instructor asked certain people to be called back for the next portion of the audition, and I was one of them. The instructor ask us to take 30 minutes and  create a one minute solo to present to the panel. I became very anxious because I wanted to make a good impression. I started to feel as though I was unprepared.  One of my high school classmates who was also at the audition reminded me of the choreography that I had put together for an assignment from class. I figured I might as well give it a shot.  I went off to the side, reviewed my choreography, and made sure it was clean enough to show to the judges. A few minutes later when it was my time to go up, I did everything to my fullest potential and they loved it! I realized that I should have never doubted myself. After all the years of training, I was more prepared than I thought, I just had to keep pushing myself.

What advice would you give to your 16 year old self?

Don't worry about what other people think, do you! 

What's your favorite genre to perform?

Even though I have trained under a strict classical ballet school majority of my dance career - ever since I've graduated from high school, Modern and African have been my favorite. 

In your opinion, how do you use your art to make a meaningful  impact on society?

Outside of being a professional dancer, I'm also a dance teacher. I feel it's always important to keep the arts alive. I really use what I've learned as a child and bring it to the youth. Whether it's teaching at local dance studios, teaching at community centers for all ages, or teaching master classes at public schools that may not have visual art programs available for them, I use my art as a way to give back to my community. 

Photo Credit: Jiggy

Are you working on any projects or upcoming shows? If so, tell us everything.

In April of 2014 , I co-founded my own Dance Company called Ntrinsik Movement,  along with four other close friends who were also Dance Majors at Long Island University of Post Campus. We are currently working on producing our second dance concert on Saturday, November 11th of this year. For more information follow us on Instagram @NtrinsikMovement and/or on Facebook @Ntrinsik Movement. It's definitely a show you don't want to miss! 


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