We had the good fortune of connecting with Quincy Pipella and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Quincy, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
If you want my short answer – NEVER. GIVE. UP. I know it might seem cliché or super cheesy. But sometimes we need to go back to the reason why we started doing what we love.
Of course, this question is not so black-and-white. There can be many positive and negative factors that could persuade you to give up. But if we are talking about a dream that you have had ever since childhood and spent so much time working to the point you are at now, I truly believe you should not give up. No matter how hard it gets. You never know, the moment you give up, could’ve been the moment you finally succeeded.
Consider this – “What defines success?”
My absolute dream is to dance for Beyoncé one day and maybe even choreograph for her or any other big artists, really. But when I look back at how far I’ve come and how many other amazing jobs I have been able to perform as a professional dancer, I realize that I have had so many “mini” successes along the way. Even if it was not my top of the “bucket list” job. Practising gratitude is so important, it allows new opportunities to arise into your life!
One more thing to help answer the question is to picture yourself in both scenarios. Living a life of pursuing your dream and how that feels and it’s entirety. Does it feel like it’s something you can’t live without? Do you feel like it would be something you would regret looking back 10 years down the road asking yourself, “What if?” Maybe it makes you feel happy or at peace that you made the decision to switch routes. Just remember to be honest with yourself. Remember that change is difficult. But if you are looking to grow, nothing ever grows in your comfort zone. So push yourself to get out there and do what you can!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started at the age of 4 and was enrolled in every dance class a studio could offer! It wasn’t until I was 15 I finally felt connected with one art form which was Hip-hop. I was also in love with Tap and Musical Theatre before hand but something was different with Hip-hop. Everything felt natural so that is what I decided to stick with after I graduated. Through that, I was able to branch off into learning more about different art forms such as Dancehall, Vogue, Heels and more! I’m so grateful to be fully equipped in so many different art forms. With that being said, I am able to offer my students not just one style of dance, but many in hopes that they will continue to share the history as well! These styles are not very common so I like specializing in something new and refreshing for the eye when I’m choreographing!
Being versatile has helped me achieve some amazing opportunities such as currently being on set for “Riverdale” as a Chorus Performer (Mostly singing), performing as a dancer on the Netflix series, “Julie and the Phantoms”, Dancing in “World of Dance” with my crew, NXG company, working with one of my favourite artists, Macklemore in his music video, “Dance Off” and much more! You never know during an audition when they will ask you to show them something technical or even other skills you have like singing or acting. It’s always important to sustain your technique/skills in all areas! Looking back at being able to do everything that I have done so far always humbles me and reminds me of where I came from. My first hometown professional gig was when I was 18 and literally turned into my life career!
Getting from there to here has not been easy. There has been more struggles then my fingers and toes could count! Everything from comparing myself to other dancers skills or their journey, being different/unique (Which is funny because that is now what I believe sets me apart, when before I just had to blend in) to being obsessive with my body shape and not feeling I am enough or “right” for this “Dance life”. Believe it or not, most dancers go through these struggles but it is always about persevering with love, care and being gentle towards yourself. Honouring that your path is different from everybody else. You are in full control of your future and life is what you make of it! Literally the most cheesy things out of the book, but the most accurate in my case! The minute I started to appreciate everything my body has done for me day in and day out -even if it was a small or big success, made me realize it was so worth it and played a crucial part in my path/who I turned out to be for my even bigger dreams. My biggest dreams are to become a world renowned Choreographer and Dancer, hoping to inspire like I was – and continue to be inspired.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Being the foodie that I am, we would have a full itinerary of breakfast lunch and dinner spots! Hands-down “Steam Punk” for breakfast. If you love chicken and waffles for breakfast, this place has some of the best chicken and waffles I have ever had! For lunch my two favourite places I would take them would be “Lemonade or “Tender Greens”. They both have so many options and their food is just incredibly flavourful and unique. For dinner, 100% I choose “Boiling Crab”. The seafood there is always so fresh and it is slathered with garlic butter. Super unhealthy but super great! If we wanted any cute drinks, I absolutely love Sur Lounge in WEHO. I would also take them to some of my favourite places like Lacma (The beautiful lights) Griffith Observatory, City Walk, The Grove and of course, the beach!! (Probably Venice Beach) I’ve got to say, being with a friend or two having a drink while people watching/being in an ambiance of everybody enjoying themselves, has got to be one of the most relaxing yet fun things to do! (Something I definitely took for granted seeing where we are in this pandemic) Not to mention, if this is a “Dance” friend we are talking about, we would do all of that PLUS hit up all of the amazing dance studios such as Millennium, Movement Lifestyle and Debbie Reynolds and get our training on!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First off – My biggest shout out would be to my family! My Mom, Stepdad, Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle and Aunt are the true reason why I have been privileged enough to do what I do. Everything from helping me with my tuition for all of my lessons, costumes and competition fees, rides to and from rehearsals – to life advice about dance and just honestly hyping me up when I most needed it! They would never miss one dance competition and when I look back, I can say that knowing they were there to support me was always the best feeling.
Secondly – All of the studios that have taught me everything I know! Not just dancing, but allowing me to choreograph and instruct multiple classes! I have learned so much. Sandra Gray School Of Dance (dance studio that started it all at the age of four!) Amanda‘s Academy of Dance, 3SB (Third Street Beat) Sherwood Park School of Dancing, The Kore Dance Studio and so many more! The list of studios I am grateful for could go on forever! Not to mention, my INCREDIBLE students from these (and other) studios who are consistently working so hard to accomplish their goals and dream. They inspire me so much. Also a special shout out to NXG Company (based out of The Kore Dance Studio)- the team which I co direct and have been a part of for six years now! There is nothing like this team/family. Throughout the last six years I can say that I have grown the most through being a part of this company and this studio.
Lastly – All of the incredible mentors that have helped me become the Choreographer, Dancer and human I am! I have so many incredible mentors but to name a few, Sandra Gray and the whole team, Richard Andries, Alexander Chung and Lukas Lock. The inspiration with these amazing human beings were endless and I will be forever be in disbelief with how lucky I was to have these people basically raise me.
Facebook: Quincy Pipella
Other: Vimeo Demo Reel: https://vimeo.com/506329944
Joseph Lee, Michael Grondin for Pink Flamingo in Calgary, Ashley Hansen