A self-taught dancer from West Harlem, New York; Dnay B. learned how to dance by hanging out in the neighborhood and watching television. Fast forward to current times she is one of the most sought-after dancers in the country. To date, Dnay B. has worked with huge celebrities such as Chris Brown, Jennifer Lopez, and Alicia Keys.
Her professional dancing career began after she played the role of creative director for both Kelly and Beyonce in the former’s “Motivation” video. After the submission, not being aware of her tasks within the payment process, a couple months passed and Dnay contacted the director about not being paid. He advised her to stop by Alvin Ailey. At the meeting, he asked if she wanted to dance for Beyonce as a makeup for her troubles. That was in 2011, Dnay’s first experience dancing for the megastar was during Oprah’s Finale Show and then the BillBoard Awards. However, she did not become an official Beyonce dancer until 2013; after filling in for a dancer on the set of Beyonce’s “Grown Woman” video. The following day she was called upon to go on tour for the Mrs. Carter World Tour and the rest is history.
When Dnay is touring she tries to maintain her internal clock by Eastern Time Zone standards by taking naps, ensuring so when she returns to NY the her sleep transition from touring is smoother. Her tour days start each morning with breakfast, then an hour of praise and worship, next she checks social media, and finally it’s on to tour rehearsals. Once she is back on the tour bus, she and the other dancers wind down. This is the time Dnay usually likes to color. She also finds time to speak to her parents several times throughout the day as they share a close-knit relationship.
Like the general workforce, dancers rehearse for 8 hours a day. They have a two-month time span to learn a one-and-a-half hour show. During this period, dancers are taught the choreography and have time to learn spacing and perfect the choreography. However, when on tour for Bey rehearsals may last for 12 upwards to 15 hours a day.
Being one of Beyonce’s primary dancers has given her a tremendous platform to fulfill her dreams and travel the word.
“When I was little I was watching all these dancers, like wow I want that to be me! Now I’m sure there’s a trillion little girl watching like, Oh My God I want t be like that girl! and its an amazing feeling to know that my dream has come full circle”.
While on her first tour, Dnay was in a relationship for five years which led to an engagement. A once positive relationship became sour once her schedule became hectic. Her fiance became toxic and was no longer supportive of her dreams. After dancing for Beyonce each day and hearing her messages of respect and surrounding yourself with supportive people; she decided to brake off her engagement. Today she has no regrets and says “I would do it all over again, even sooner than last time”.
Dnay B’s advice to women who want both the relationship and career success is to:
Put yourself first and be secure of who you are as a woman. Make your expectations are clear. Let them know as much as love is your priority your career is also. Take your time with it and be friends first so that he can experience your life, before you guys experience life together.
There was a time when Dnay B. didn’t feel beautiful being a woman of darker complexion; however, after some self-assessment she was able to appreciate her true beauty. She credits her time working on the Lemonade album in also helping her strengthen her self-perception and confidence.
When Dnay B. is not touring, she spends her down time having family over and enjoying game nights, doing karaoke, watching live music, and spending time with her current boyfriend. She also teaches a dance workshop entitled “Dnay B’s Block Parties” which is about the love of dance, expressing yourself and having a good time mixed with some “Harlem Flavor.” To get more of Dnay B. check out her website www.therealdnayb.com and find her on social media @dnaybisme