Passionate, dedicated, and hardworking is the least to say about Yaminah Legohn,
choreographer, teacher, professional dancer and performer of West African, Dancehall/Reggae, Hip Hop, Jazz and Modern dance styles. Legohn holds a BA degree in Speech Communications & Dance with an emphasis in choreography from San Francisco State University. Before moving to New York, Legohn spent time in her home- town Los Angeles, gaining experience in the Hollywood industry as a choreographer, teacher and professional dancer. She has worked with multiple artists such as Shakira, N.E.R.D, Tony Toni Tone, Lil Wayne, and B.o.B. and appeared on TV shows and commercials such as Disney’s Phineas & Ferb and “So Random”.
Her skills have also been sought out by today’s top-performing festivals and events, such as the Black Choreography Festival Bay Area, American College Dance Festival, The Soul Nation Festival in Indonesia, Choreographer’s Ball “Carnival” in Hollywood and New York, World of Dance, S.F. International Hip Hop festival and RAW Artists in Los Angeles and New York. There is no doubt that Yaminah is a well-rounded and trained dancer. Growing up, Legohn studied West African, Samba, Ballet, Modern, Horton and Dunham Technique to compliment her unique style of dance. Dancehall has always been a part of her soul. She grew up doing this style of dance, which has been a major influence to her artistic realm.
Legohn has taught master classes and weekly classes all around Southern and Northern
California, Brooklyn, and NYC. She loves to spread her knowledge of dance and help turn her students into great dancers. In 2010, Legohn became the Founder of Art of Legohn, which is a performing arts organization that represents dance styles such as West African, Dancehall, Hip Hop and Modern Dance! The mission of Art Of Legohn is to create, inspire through art, dance and performance both nationally and internationally. Yaminah Legohn masters her choreography, teaching and performing arts projects by continuing to captivate audiences through her artistic performances and by building the dancer in her electrifying and energetic classes. Simply put,
she lives to spread her love and passion for the arts.
Dance Mogul Magazine is once again honored with the opportunity to present another Queen from our Dance Community, Yaminah Legohn. Every time we present powerful women, it is our hope that young girls around the world are inspired and empowered to be great and start to see themselves as Queens. Recognizing your true value is 90% of the battle when it comes to knowing your self-worth and building self-love, the other 10% is once you know, you have to show everyone else by your actions.
Dance Mogul: How do you connect to the dance hall style of dance spiritually?
Yaminah Legohn: With Dancehall, I relate to the connection it has to the motherland, Africa, culturally and spiritually. In Dancehall you see the connection between the dances that originate from traditional West African dance, and in the African diaspora as a whole, that are used and performed for spiritual purposes. There is a reason for or meaning behind every Dance, which has always been a part of our culture. When I dance the Dances in Dancehall, I connect with my African ancestors and feel spiritually uplifted.
Dance Mogul: Who are some of your inspirations in dance?
Yaminah Legohn: Some of my dance inspirations are Katherine Dunham, Debbie Allen, Alvin Ailey, and Josephine Baker.
Dance Mogul: How do you use dance to empower yourself and your community?
Yaminah Legohn: I use the knowledge I have of dance to educate my community. This gives me confidence in my passion. I use dance to empower myself by using it as an outlet to express my full self artistically.
Dance Mogul: How can young girls use dance to help build self-esteem?
Yaminah Legohn: When a girl has confidence within herself, she can do wonders! Dance can help a young girl feel confident with her beauty and body. It also builds her self-esteem because she knows that she has a place to express herself.
Dance Mogul: What are you currently doing to help the dance community grow?
Yaminah Legohn: I make a practice of spreading the knowledge of the roots of dance and it’s culture in each of my classes, workshops, and performances. I continually create more art to inspire and entertain wider audiences. I’ve also expanded the dance division of my company, Art of LegohnTM, from Los Angeles to NYC, to include a variety of skilled dancers that have a talent of inspiring audiences through dance. The company works and performances will introduce audiences to more dance style fusion, across West African, Dancehall, Hip- Hop, House, and Modern dance styles.
Dance Mogul: What have been some of your most memorable moments with dance thus far?
Yaminah Legohn: Some of my most memorable moments have been performing for the American Music Awards with Shakira, traveling to Jakarta, Indonesia with Tony Toni Toné for the Soul Nation Festival and performing in World of Dance with my old dance crew Jungle Jills.
Dance Mogul: How can dance be taken to another level, beyond what we are currently doing?
Yaminah Legohn: Dance can be taken to another level by continuing to show that dance is more than just eye candy and entertainment. Dance is an art form that requires a lot of discipline and it should be appreciated and respected just as much as other art forms and sports.
Dance Mogul: What words of encouragement do you have for the youth and their parents that are interested in the arts?
Yaminah Legohn: To the parents of youth in the arts, I say if your child has an interest in or shows a talent in the arts, then expose them to different styles. Make sure they are versatile while maintaining have their own voice/style. Encourage and support them through their artistic journey and never give up on them!
Dance Mogul: Is there anyone you would like to thank for helping you on your journey thus far?
Yaminah Legohn: I would like to thank my family and the higher power for always supporting me in my passion. Without that backbone, my path as a choreographer/dancer/teacher may have been a little different with my career. I also want to thank my fans for always supporting my work; my students for continuing to learn and come to my classes/workshops and the dancers I have worked with thus far for sharing their beautiful talent with me and my vision.