Davion “Dae Dae” Coleman has come a long way in a short amount of time. He’s only been teaching for a few years (and many of those were through a global pandemic!), but he’s already amassed a dedicated following of students that is rivaled by few. If you’re a Los Angeles resident, you know the type of impact that Dae’s Dae’s choreography makes. If you live anywhere else, he’s somebody who should be on your “MUST TAKE CLASS,” list (tell me I’m not the only one that has one of those?). The energy that he brings to the room is heightened by his charm, knowledge, and teaching style. Get to know the man behind the moves – his story is one that’s sure to inspire and motivate.
Who Is Dae Dae according to Dae Dae?
If I had to describe myself, I would just say I’m an open, loving, big-hearted, dance-crazy, Gemini, outgoing, spontaneous person. I’m a people person; I love to have fun. I love to laugh and smile. Obviously, I love dancing and creating. Anything that has to do with helping people is my core – I think that’s why I became a teacher. I love to help and lead and be that light to other people like me.
How did you get started on your dance journey?
I’m from St. Paul, Minnesota. I came to visit LA when I was 19 over the fall, just for a day. I took my first dance class ever from Kyle Hanagami, at Movement Lifestyle at the time. I just fell in love with dance. We went home the day after and three months later I moved here!
What is it that you love about teaching?
I think it’s the one thing that makes me feel free and at peace. When I’m here, nothing else matters. We have so much fun and we’re so in the moment. Even when it’s hard and we’re tired, we’re still in there having the time of our lives. I really just think that teaching for me has just been something that over time has developed in itself in making me become a more mature person; more wise, more caring, more loving. It’s hand in hand with self growth as well as seeing the product and the people that I connect with.
You have such a large following! What is it that keeps people coming back to class?
I think they appreciate my love for teaching. They know that I care. They know that it’s genuine. I would like to say I’m a really good teacher. I give good choreography that makes sense. They feel like they get the push; it’s good training. They always grow; anyone who’s trained under me tells me they have developed and evolved and have the motive. Some of the people who started with me are now teaching! I create a safe environment, I make connections with all the people that come and support. I learn everyone’s names, I talk to them, I give them feedback. It’s a real genuine energy exchange.
What are some goals that you have for yourself?
I definitely want to tour more as a dancer! Worldwide, internationally. I want to teach more dance camps, go to more countries that I’ve never been to. Eventually choreographing for artists and creative directing live shows to live bands and doing all the fun stuff – the music videos, the concerts. Everything that there is to offer!
One day, it would be nice to have my own program. Once I get enough experience and I have enough under my belt to really guide a full community of people on a regular basis under just me. That’s something I would love to do. Sooner or later. Most likely later. I want to be able to be in a position where I know absolutely everything. I don’t want to fall short from anything, because I’m still learning and growing myself. This is why I still take class all the time, because I still have so much to learn!
What is something you are most proud of?
Honestly, making the move to LA. Had I not, none of this would have ever manifested or happened. I was really scared to do it, because I moved all by myself at 19 with no help, no family. I literally had thirteen dollars left in my bank account by the time I got here. I spent my last paycheck on a one-way ticket – only came with my clothes. Didn’t have any money for transportation. That was the scariest part, because I had never lived on my own or without my family.
That’s what I’m most proud of. I’m the oldest of all my siblings, and no one in my family has ever done anything like what I’m doing. It’s nice that I get to be that example for my brothers and my sister. They’re all so proud of me – where at first they were all so doubtful! I kept my faith that eventually something would click, I would get to where I wanted to be! It changed my life completely. Had I not, I probably would have gone to college, gotten a degree, gotten a job – probably something in criminal justice. I wanted to be a lawyer, but I chose dance instead!
What is something you hope for the dance community in the future?
I really hope the dance community can be a lot more united. I feel like sometimes it’s very separated, based on generation or who knows who or the relationship you have with people, versus it being more welcoming to newer people. I speak that from my own experience. I feel like sometimes because I’m not in certain crowds or groups or environments, even if I have the talent, even if I’m worthy of a job or opportunity, I don’t get them because it’s not about that.
Although relationships are important and I will never take away from that–I think it’s great to have and it’s probably the most important to have. I would just love the dance community to see dance for dance and allow more room for people to prosper just as much as the people before us.
How can people support you?
I don’t look for it in any specific way! Liking a post, sharing a post, telling me in person, coming to class, coming to my shows, or anything like that. However people want to support, I receive it! That’s really it for me. There’s no one right or wrong way to do it.
You can take class from Dae Dae when he teaches in-person at our LA studio!
Fast Facts and Favorites
- Favorite Food: Chinese
- Favorite Restaurant: Dragon Street and Joey’s
- Favorite Musical Artist: Beyonce
- Favorite Movie: Anything Marvel! I love the X-Men.
- Favorite TV Show: I really like thrillers. Mind-bendy, psychological…YOU, Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder.
- Favorite Choreographer: Candace Brown
See more of Dae’s Dae’s choreography HERE!