Dance Mogul: What inspired you to start dancing?
Brandon: My family inspired me to dance. I come from a family of natural dancers, starting with my Grandmother, Grandma Mitchell. We would all gather and she would share stories about her days on the floor. She would say, “I use to sit ‘em down!” Haha. From her, through my talented my father, I inherited the passion to express myself through movement. I knew I wanted to pursue dance professionally at a young age after seeing dancers in music videos and award shows. Upon graduation from college, Florida A&M University, I had to choose between following my dreams as an entertainer or joining the corporate world as a computer scientist. I knew I wouldn’t feel right always wondering ‘what if’, so I stepped out on faith and followed my passion. Best decision I made.
Dance Mogul: How did you develop a work ethic to train?
Brandon: My work ethic was instilled in me from my mother and father. I think one of the hardest jobs is being a single mother with kids. I witnessed my mom work hard, day in and day out, to provide for my sister and I, with minimal resources. I’m also thankful for my Step-Pops who came in, worked hard, and gave us balance, as a father figure. My father always told me, ‘whatever you do, give it 100%.’ He taught me to work hard to uphold a healthy lifestyle mentally, physically, and spiritually. Studying, exercise, being wise and savvy, never complaining, and maintaining poise contributes to peace in a world that is a trip. Most importantly my parents taught me that faith in God and hard work produce blessings. Prayer, responsibility, and gratitude. My parents demonstrated the relevance of family, support, and relationships. They loved on me. When I went to Florida and then moved here to L.A., I was prepared because I was ready to work.
Dance Mogul: When was your big break?
Brandon: My big break came when my boys, The Strikers All-Stars, made it on to season 3 of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. The Strikers All-Stars is crew derived from the FAMU Strikers dance organization in Tallahassee, Florida. After school, I moved to L.A. after their successful run on ABDC and continued along. After signing with Bloc Talent Agency, we were featured in the movie Honey 2, Ciara’s music video “Gimme Dat”, and had appearances on Ellen and George Lopez. Ever since I have not let go of the gas pedal.
Dance Mogul: What have been some of your memorable moments on stage?
Brandon: Man, I have had a lot of memorable moments, but I will have to say the one that sticks out the most, was my exit from Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance. I made it to the Top 16 before reaching my end of the 9th season. During that episode, I performed alongside Amber Jackson in a sexy jazz number choreographed by Ray Leeper. I also did a solo to Tye Tribbett’s “I Want It All Back”, before the announcement of my elimination. I was standing next to Cat Deeley when she asked how I how felt and handed over the microphone. In front of millions, I gave glory to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That was the moment. At the time I was simply thankful for the experience of showcasing my talent on one of my favorite TV shows. I love So You Think You Can Dance because it showcases dancers as artists in the forefront. However, the response I received from that statement was crazy. I got emails and messages from people all over the world expressing how happy and inspired they were to see me standing humble, yet firm, and unashamed.
Alicia Keys’ ‘Set The World On Fire’ tour and filming Step Up Revolution carried some great moments as well. The BET Awards with Kelly Rowland and Jidenna were pretty nice. Even before my professional career, I shared some great moments with my KC crew, For Real; my old rap group, Triple M; Excursions, Premiers, and 106 & Park with the FAMU Strikers, as well as winning the FAMU Homecoming Step Show with my frat brothers (A Phi A). My mother always mentions my pre-school graduation and how I broke out into the “Bobby Brown” dance, a.k.a. the Roger Rabbit, in the middle of the ceremony. She said the entire gym went crazy, haha.
Dance Mogul: Based on your experience now, what would you tell your younger self?
Brandon: I would tell my younger self to manage money better, get educated on the business side of the industry, network and develop more relationships, and collaborate. I would tell myself to train in other genres of dance and implement my other talents such as rapping and acting. At the same time, I do not have any regrets.
Dance Mogul: How was it dancing on this year’s BET Awards?
Brandon: I had a blast dancing on the BET Awards this year. The best time I have had on stage in a while. I rocked out with Jidenna. The song we danced to was fire and I am looking forward to more of his music. I had the opportunity, for the first time, to learn West African. It fit right into my vibe and how I move. My boy Jermel McWilliams was the lead choreographer on the performance. Jidenna, and the other dancers were really cool, and it felt like a party out there on that stage. Fun times for sure.
Dance Mogul: What advice do you have for the younger generation of dancers?
Brandon: Have faith and be the hardest worker you know. Be confident and keep God in the center of every single decision you make. Never compromise yourself and your beliefs, and know your worth as an artist. Know WHY you are doing what you are doing. Never complain, and isolate yourself from drama and anything that is not aligned with your purpose. Continue to learn new styles and vocabulary to add to your repertoire. Stay humble, grounded, and close to the ones who love and support you unconditionally. Educate yourself about the business of the industry and manage your money wisely. Continue to have fun and constantly remind yourself of how fortunate you are to have such an exciting career.
Dance Mogul: Is there anyone you would like to thank?
Brandon: Yes. I would like to thank God. My wife, Ava, for her support, being my better half and holding me accountable. I would like to thank my mother, father, and step-parents, for their love and support. My siblings Jasmine, Martayah, and Mark Jr. for inspiring me to be the best leader and example possible. My family and friends from Kansas City, FAMU, San Jose, and here in L.A. I’m extremely thankful.