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Meet Anaya Ni’Kole

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anaya Ni’Kole. 

Hi Anaya, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Growing up, I never had rhythm. Looking back now, it is very ironic, my mother put me in cheerleading because she wanted me to learn to have rhythm. Later my grandmother introduced me to dance. At a young age, I didn’t have a passion for it. Then, the dance film  “Rize” came out which allowed me to view dance differently. Seeing all of these people krumping and seeing the joy on their faces as they danced made me fall in love with the dance style,  krumping.

During this early introduction to dance, I remember my mom making up dance routines for her performances because she was a rapper. She would have my brother and I join her on stage to dance. That is where my passion stems from, the adrenaline rush while dancing freely and being unconditionally me. My passion for dance continued to grow as my older brother introduced me to the Jerk movement while we were in middle school, and then I became inspired by the Step-Up film series.

In high school, I joined the cheerleading squad but still didn’t feel complete, so I asked my mom if she could find a hip-hop/street dance crew for me to join. My mom took me to see a Cincinnati dance mega crew called Studio Kre8v. I joined the very next week and, from there, my passion for dance skyrocketed. I had finally found a dance crew in my area which provided incredible opportunities to compete at Hip Hop International, World of Dance Chicago and even dance for the Cincinnati Ballet production of The Nutcracker at the Aronoff Center.

After years of dancing with that crew and building a strong sisterhood with my dance teammates Chenelle Jones and Camille Jones and Angel Beason, we decided to form (CA)^2 Dance Crew, a team built on love, sisterhood, women’s empowerment, and serves as an acronym for confidently creating active achievers. (Ca)^2 is now led solely by me, Camille and Chenelle. Through the experiences I’ve had as a co-founder of (Ca)^2, I further developed my confidence and found my voice through dance, but that wasn’t enough. I wanted to take it to the next level, so I went to Northern Kentucky University and majored in Theater with a minor in Dance.

During my junior year, I became pregnant. At the time, I was so scared, worried that everyone would doubt me. Some did, but did that stop me? No. I danced until I was full term. While pregnant, I danced in Los Angeles and graduated college feeling more empowered than ever before. This was a defining moment that revealed my perseverance and motivated me to never allow any obstacles to stop me from achieving my dreams, all determined qualities that represent the mission of (CA)^2 dance crew. I stopped saying “I can’t” because if I did, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Now, my achievements include choreographing for a major commercial, choreographing and performing in music videos, teaching dance in local area schools and studios, and competing at major dance competitions.

Dance is my passion, my life, and without it I wouldn’t know where I would be.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It was hard being pregnant in college. There were a lot of people who doubted me, told me I would quit, and it was hard to keep their doubting comments out of my mind. It seemed like people were judging me and my pregnancy; like they were counting me out automatically after they’d found out I was pregnant.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a choreographer and dancer based in Cincinnati, OH. I have choreographed and performed for commercials, films, music videos, stage, background work,  competitions, and events of all kinds. I am known for my freestyle dancing and high energy performance quality. I am proud of how far I’ve come; for conquering the obstacles I have faced. What sets me apart from others is my determination, optimism, and drive. No matter what is in front of me, my drive will get me all the way to the finish line.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs, or other resources you think our readers should check out?
SSocial media helps me to share my work. I can keep up with what’s current, and I am able to evolve with dance culture because it is always changing. You can find my choreography and concept videos on Instagram, Facebook, @and Tik Tok (@nikoleanaya) . Merch can be found on instagram @anayanikolemerch. 


  • $75 per hour for Private Lessons
  • Contact for Choreography prices
  • Contact for dance prices

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