Hey everyone I’m Tevin from Lafayette,La and I consider myself a visionary artist. I attended and graduated from Carencro High in 2013 . I’ve been dancing since the age of 15. No studio no proper training.. My first time dancing was actually for a ceremony for a friend who passed away where I performed a mime ministry dance to Daryl Coleys Silent Scream a gospel song talking about the silence to which harm and pain we as humans beings feel but knowing a higher power herd our cry for help ensuring us, WE ARE NEVER ALONE in this World or our Thoughts ! . Mine ministry is used a lot in baptist and non domination churches . Growing up catholic I never really judge anyone based off religion. I was intrigued by ministry dancing , praise dancing , choir , and family folk songs to which these things felt vital to my spirit as a youngster . Growing up in a Creole family music and family dancing played a big role in my imagination as a kid and it was something I couldn’t fight but had too embrace .
At the age of 16 I merges into a Non Profit Community Brotherhood \ Sisterhood knows as SAT . Sigma Alpha Tau Jr Frat Inc. (SAT) Under the direction of Shelly Guillory and leadership of Andre Davis & Dillard Keys .After watching movies depicting the art of stepping in fraternities and sororities, I fell in love with the art ! SAT was a competitive Step Team that travel across the United States competing in some of the baddest step shows in the land . As a team with boys and females, we mostly competed in the Co Ed division ages 13-18. I’ve competed in step competitions In Lafayette,La, Mobile , Alabama , Rosenberg ,Texas , Heyman Center of Lafayette, La , Houston ,Texas ,Colorado and many more . From the age of 16 to 18 I’ve been apart of our 6 x grand champion spree from 2008 until my graduation in 2013. After graduating high school I wanted to do more for my community and for myself and I was appointed step master from 2014 until 2016 where I was the head Step coach of SAT.
After all my kiddos graduated high school, I knew their was still more for me too do especially in the art world so I started working at tip, tap toe school of dance In Lafayette,La where I thought stepping and in my spare time, I took classes in jazz, hip-hop, and praise dancing. After three years teaching at Tip Tap Toe, I decided to move to Houston where in the present time and still is very open about the LGBTQ lifestyle versus the south. I wanted to see different communities and not just the ones of Louisiana. I move back to Louisiana not even six months later because my mama missed her bby lol! I Started teaching majorette hip-hop dance at tip tap toe which was and is now a very popular dance style in the African American culture of dance. Majorette dancing is very well-known in HBCUs for the different styles of black girl magic. It became a style to wear girls with technique , poise curly hairs, and Afros could become welcomed and not judged . It also played a role in the LGBT community, because male dancers were not allowed todance on HBCUs Dance lines and they still aren’t so the community adopted the term J- setting for the LGBT community to pay homage to Jackson State University but also have self expression through Dance . Just because we can’t be on the field or in the stands dancing doesn’t mean we can’t express how it makes you feel when the band music kicks on !! Majorette dancing is now one of the biggest sensations currently and it’s something that came natural to me! I’ve had the pleasure of working with numerous teams around Acadiana in Majorette Dancing from Tip Tip toe school of dance (5 years), Lafayette Dazzlers ( 7 years currently) , Kokeys Dance project , GLOE of Breaux Bridge , UTA of St Martinville , Franklin High , any many more. I was a member of Kaution, which is a collegiate majorette dance troop, who competes in adult majorette divisions.
At the age of 24 I started taking my first professional dance classes at Basin Arts with the sweetest, most kindest person in the world,Claire Cook! She introduced me to classical ballet and immediately it became like Pandora’s box. I was so intrigued with it. I didn’t want to share it with nobody. I just wanted to be absorbed in it… I started taking more classes like hip-hop with Whitney , booty ballet, jazz contemporary, modern dance and my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE CARDIO DANCE!! I consider myself a dragonfly because I had yo learn how to adapt . I never went to school for dance. I never had a college education, and I was the first of my family to graduate high school. To some that achievement is basic, to my family, It was big. I am thankful for my community, my family and every organization and child I’ve had the opportunity to work with.
I just finish being a member in the production of Roots The Journey, a story through dance of trials and tribulation and history of African-American slavery with Hamilton Performing Arts Academy, Grace Hamilton of Lafayette,La. This production was showcased at ACA two time this year , Delta Grand of Opelousas, Opelousas high school, and Washington Marion high school.
I’ve had the honor of teaching a step 101 class at Basin Arsts out doors summer program.I’ve also did a majorette class for the summer program and currently working on being the best me I can be everyday . What I love the most about being a visionary artist is being around people who aid in bringing my visions to life. When I’m not dancing, or not getting my cardio in I love fishing, I love swimming and I love spending time with my family.
Who makes up your art circle?
I feel the community it’s self makes up my art circle. Anyone whose life I have impacted or played a role in is now piece of me and we all are a big puzzle.
How do you expand your art circle?
Communication. In order for a community or a group of people or like-minded individuals to come together we must commune. Sometimes in life you have to step out your comfort zone . Expansion also comes with vulnerability so you have to be open to be vulnerable to other people. sometimes all it really takes is for us to put ourselves out there and if it’s from the heart people will reciprocate it .
What value do you see in having a creative community?
A creative community is a thriving community. When your community is well watered, nurtured and given just the right amount of love, it will grow. It will flourish . It becomes something bigger than ourselves. What we leave behind defines who and what we are . The value is bigger than us as humans, because when we are lone and gone, the art will still live on!!
How does your artistic approach contribute to your community?
I think that the energy I give off to people I come in to contact with they never forget that. A sense of light , a sense of happiness, a sense of wisdom and understanding that’s what I offer . I have kids who I have taught , and they are currently dance school business owners! I have kids who are now dancing for HBCUs! It doesn’t matter who the team may be in Lafayette when it comes to Lafayette,La my community loves me and I love them too and I will continue to contribute to my community as long as I have breath ! What I pour into my community it pours into another, and I love that!
Our weekly Art Circle series profiles artists throughout the community and is sponsored in part by Lafayette Visitor Enterprise Fund managed by Lafayette Travel