Quincy Wilson - Alabama Nomination by Tracey Wilson Photography by Providence Photography & others Issue 47 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Quincy Wilson turned a brief moment in her dance education into an opportunity to help others. She felt so empowered when given the chance to dance on her high school's dance team in flesh toned tights, that she wanted other brown dancers to experience the same. She therefore formed "Variation En Hue," a project dedicated to allowing brown dancers to show their true colors on stage. She has collected over 500 costumes as well as new flesh-toned tights and shoes and has distributed them across the U.S. and internationally to Guatemala, Ghana and Nigeria. How inspiring!
Tell us about your dance career. I started dancing when I was 3 years old so I am starting my 13th year of dance. I practice all genres of dance but my studio focuses on mainly Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, and Hip-Hop. Despite that, I like to spend my free time learning other styles of dance like taking modern classes, ballroom classes, etc. Typically, I dance somewhere around 12-15 hours a week including weekends, sometimes more or less, depending on rehearsals or competitions.
What is your favorite memory or accomplishment from dance? My favorite memories/accomplishments from dance were the 2 weeks that I spent in Chicago at Hubbard Street Dance Intermediate-Advanced Intensive. Exploring the city, making new friends, and learning new styles of dance from accomplished instructors was such an amazing experience that still impacts me and my dancing today. That opportunity definitely solidified my aspirations to pursue dance as a career and gave me the confidence to return back to my studio better than ever and share what I learned with my friends and teachers.
How are you giving back through dance? My project Variation En Hue is dedicated to collecting and donating ballet costumes, as well as flesh-toned tights and shoes to studios and dancers in need. My goal is to promote diversity and inclusion in the dance world.
How did you get started with this? I created this project during the pandemic, looking to donate some of my dancewear to the supply closet at Brown Girls Do Ballet®. I started thinking that I could do better, knowing that every girl feels amazing in a ballet costume, tights, and shoes that complement her skin tone. I was lucky to work with Mrs. Takiyah Wallace, the owner of Brown Girls Do Ballet® to kickstart my project by hosting costume drives, Instagram takeovers, and news interviews to spread the word about Variation en Hue™. I have since collected over 500 costumes and have shipped many nationally and internationally.
Why is it so important to you? Being uncomfortable in my costumes because they don’t match my skin should be the least of my worries. I truly cannot express the feeling that I had when I put on my first pair of brown tights and shoes, and I hope that I am able to give that same feeling to another little brown girl. Seeing the smiles of the girls that I help is priceless, and it makes me feel purposeful. I also hope that brown dancers of the next generation are cultivated in an environment that makes them feel welcomed and accepted instead of alienated and rejected.
How else do you inspire other dancers? Apart from my Variation en Hue™ project, another inspiring thing about me is that I spend my free time assisting/teaching dance classes, tumbling classes, and strength & conditioning classes to younger students. Through this opportunity, I can share with kids the importance of exercise and assist them in finding their own passions and ambitions regardless of their background or appearance.
What else are you involved in? I'm also active in a club at my school that works with special needs students and have been able to serve as secretary of the club for the past year. Within this club, I help plan activities intended to promote inclusivity and acceptance at my school and spend time with my special needs friends throughout the school day.
What do you feel passionate about or could talk forever about? I could talk forever about my love for big cities. I've always been obsessed with big cities, bright lights, and skylines because to me they represent people who are dedicated to working hard and accomplishing their goals. I’m an ambitious and driven person with big dreams! Places such as New York and LA remind me of others like me, who go out of their comfort zones and chase their dreams until they become realities. Cities symbolize commitment, passion, and hard work, all qualities I possess; and, I hope to join other people like me in a city, hustling to succeed.
What's next for you? I'm excited for college and hoping to pursue a career in commercial dance after high school, but my options are open and I am excited for whatever is to come. I'd love to attend college in California and I’m hoping to be able to get an agent sooner or later! No matter what, I definitely see dance in my future and I’m taking in everything that I can during these last two years of high school that I have left!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are today? I would tell them to put the work in even when they least feel like it and know that nobody else can get them to where they want to be, it’s all about self-dedication and your own hard work!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans? Five years from now I see myself attending college in a big city such as New York, LA, or Chicago and pursuing my career in commercial dance by having an agent and booking jobs.
What is your favorite activity or pastime that was not in your nomination? My favorite pastime is definitely obsessing over music, I love discovering new artists, making playlists, talking about music with friends, and going to concerts.
Do you have a hidden talent? What is it? My hidden talent is that I can wiggle my ears without touching them:)
Who do you find inspiring?’ I find anyone who doesn’t just have dreams and aspirations but puts in the work to make them happen inspiring.
Look for Quincy in issue 47 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!