The 116 Life Episode 44: Faithful Footwork with Dejah and David Hector
Welcome to another inspiring episode of The 116 Life. On this episode we welcome Dejah and David Hector, a dynamic dance couple. We had the pleasure of delving into their journey in the dance industry, their aspirations, and how their faith has influenced their dancing.
The Dance Journey Begins
Dejah and David’s passion for dance is palpable. Dejah’s journey began with an early interest in dance, which she decided to pursue professionally. She honed her skills through classes and YouTube tutorials. David, on the other hand, discovered his love for breaking after seeing the Jabbawockeez on TV. He joined a church dance team, learned choreography, and fell in love with breaking.
Their paths crossed on a nine-month tour called Epic Assemblies, where they performed for schools and encouraged students not to give up. Their dance skills were used as a way to connect with young people and spread positive messages. They credit their church and its dance team for nurturing their talent and providing them with opportunities to grow.
The Turning Point
Dejah recalls a moment when someone predicted she would travel the world and be recognized for her dancing. This, along with her first paid gig, made her realize that she wanted to pursue dance long-term. David, too, started getting paid for his gigs at the age of 18 and went on tour when he was 19 or 20.
Choreography: Telling Stories Through Dance
Dejah and David also shared their experiences as choreographers. Dejah approaches choreography as telling stories and tries to showcase each dancer’s strengths. She draws inspiration from ballet and stage choreography. David emphasizes the importance of thinking bigger and better when choreographing for the stage or music videos.
Faith and Dance
Dejah and David’s faith has played a significant role in their dance journey. Dejah shared a life-changing incident where she broke her neck during a training session. This incident led her to reflect on her relationship with God. David, inspired by Christian hip hop artists like TobyMac and Lecrae, always had the support of his parents who encouraged him to dance for the Lord.
They also discussed the challenges of being Christian dancers, especially in the hip hop culture, which can be egotistical and prideful. Despite criticism for their style of dancing, they remain grateful for the positive experiences they’ve had.
Love, Dance, and Entrepreneurship
Their relationship evolved from being friends to dating and eventually getting married. They credit their shared passion for dance as a factor that brought them closer together. Their faith guided them in taking risks, such as starting their own dance studio, Ace Studios, during the COVID-19 pandemic. They emphasize the importance of following through on their dreams and not being afraid to take risks.
The Multifaceted Dance Career
Dejah and David stressed the importance of being multifaceted in their dancing careers. They’ve expanded their skill set to make a living in various ways, such as teaching choreography, studio work, wedding lessons, corporate events, and even bar mitzvahs. They also shared the challenges they faced, including self-doubt and lack of confidence. However, they’ve managed to overcome these hurdles and continue to bring joy to people through their dance.
The Joy of Dance
As a creative myself, I see the positive impact Dejah and David have in helping people find joy in their lives. Mia Evans added that Daysha and David not only contribute to the dance space but also inspire and encourage others through their journey as a married couple and believers.
The 116 Life
In conclusion, Dejah and David’s story is a testament to the power of passion, faith, and resilience. Their journey serves as an inspiration to all of us, reminding us to pursue our dreams, no matter the challenges we face. Stay tuned for more inspiring conversations on our next episode of The 116 Life.
The journey into dance (00:01:41) Dejah and David discuss their background in dance, how they got into it, and their early experiences and aspirations in the field.
Breakdancing and church (00:04:32) David talks about how he started breakdancing in high school and how his church used breaking sessions to attract kids and spread their message.
Transitioning to professional dance (00:06:42) Dejah shares her journey from dancing as a hobby to wanting to pursue it long term, including her first paid gig and winning a competition.
Ninth grade and early dance experiences (00:09:06) Dejah talks about her experience in ninth grade, teaching dance, and watching YouTube videos to learn choreography.
Choreographing and drawing inspiration from ballet (00:11:28) Dejah discusses her approach to choreographing, including telling stories and drawing inspiration from ballet.
Deepening faith and developing a personal relationship with God (00:16:22) Dejah shares her journey of deepening her faith and developing a personal relationship with God, starting around the age of 17-19.
Broke my neck and faith (00:18:30) David discusses breaking his neck and how it impacted his faith and relationship with God.
Dancing and faith (00:19:35) Dejah asks about how their faith influenced their dancing and how they responded to criticism from others about dancing in a certain way.
Discouragement and positive experiences (00:23:10) David talks about being discouraged by some people for dancing in a certain way, but overall having a positive experience with support from her family and community.
The journey of their relationship (00:27:06) They discuss how they initially didn’t get along but eventually grew closer and complemented each other well.
Starting Ace Studios during COVID (00:30:51) They talk about how they started teaching online dance classes during the pandemic and how it evolved into Ace Studios.
Making a living off dancing (00:34:51) They share how they transitioned from regular jobs to making a living off dancing and the blessings they received after following God’s guidance.
The importance of being multifaceted in dancing (00:38:31) Discussion on the importance of dancers being able to excel in various aspects of their craft, such as teaching, choreography, and creative directing.
Expanding their dance business (00:39:11) Talk about how the couple learned to monetize their skills and expand their dance business by offering wedding lessons, teaching dance classes, and performing at various events.
Overcoming self-doubt and gaining confidence (00:42:29) Conversation about the personal growth and mindset shift that helped the speaker overcome self-doubt and gain the confidence needed to pursue their dance goals and aspirations.
The encouragement and impact of their dancing (00:44:50) The hosts praise Dejah and David for the joy they bring through their dancing and encourage them to continue their ministry.
The blessing of reaching the masses (00:45:33) The hosts express gratitude for Dejah and David’s ability to reach and encourage people through their journey as a married couple and believers.
Contact information and closing remarks (00:46:18) Dejah and David share their social media handles and the name of their studio, Ace Studios, and the hosts conclude the episode.
Related Radio Show: 116 Life