Sole Talk 19: Cici Kelley, Co-Founder of Dare Dream Dance Studio

Regardless of the location of the stage – theater, studio, concert venue or even a football field – Kelley has left her mark. After being trained by some of the greatest names in dance at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, the Atlanta native has forged a career that spans all genres of dance and crosses multiple industries - from sports to advertising to entertainment and beyond.

Kelley’s list of accomplishments is extensive and audiences around the world have been entertained by her dance moves. Her choreography and mesmerizing performances have been featured by the Atlanta Falcons both in national commercials and during halftime entertainment. Other choreography credits include the Fugees’ European tour, Musiq Soulchild’s “Stir the Senses” tour, and Toni Braxton’s 2010 tour and television performances. Kelley danced with Beyonce Knowles in her video for “Get Me Bodied” and during her performance of the hugely popular “Single Ladies” during the 2009 MTV VMAs.

CiCi's work has also been performed on theatrical stages across the United States in a variety of shows including "The Wilson Pickett Project" and "The Satin Dolls: A Duke Ellington Review". She was selected by film director Jon Turtletaub to provide dance direction to award-winning actor Morgan Freeman during the filming of the blockbuster hit, "Last Vegas" as well as the film "BOLDEN" with Director Dan Pritzker.

CiCi has additional performance credits on stage and in music videos, including the video for LL Cool J’s “Control Yourself” featuring Jennifer Lopez, and Outkast’s video for “Ghetto Music.” Her choreography skills were also featured on MTV’s Emmy Award winning series, “MTV MADE,” as well as “MTV MADE Head-to-Head Hip Hop Challenge.”

Kelley has also stepped into her philanthropic shoes by helping up-and-coming young dancers start their careers off on the right foot with "The DARE DREAM DANCE Project," a C4 Atlanta fiscally sponsored initiative. Inclusive of the projects programming, Kelley provides unique commercial dance education training with a classical foundation, to develop world class artists who want to achieve success in the field of dance. She offers the Trifecta scholarship within the DARE DREAM DANCE framework to provide talented and highly ambitious young dancers the means with which to hone their craft and pursue their dreams in America’s three major dance centers: Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles.

Watch or listen below to find out how Cici got started, her career challenges, and her biggest tips!

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