FlyPaper Celebrates Women’s History With WCW: Tia Hancock
I remember the first time I came across Tia Hancock. She had a video of her dancing pinned to her Twitter with the caption, “when I was really coming for boyfriends and souls.” I laughed audibly, mainly because of how bold of a caption it was. Needless to say, after watching that video, she came for my soul. It was her precise movements and stage presence that did it to me. Her artistic expression through dance has fueled a passion inside her that many have yet the opportunity to experience. She never stops to think about how she is received by others, but instead rocks to the beat of her own drum set, a quality that radiates off her.
Check out my interview with Tia below.
Tell the world a little about yourself, Queen.
Well, my name is Tia Hancock age 21. Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. I’ve been dancing for 18 years; I started grooving at the age of 3 but I didn’t get actual training till age 11. I started with an amazing teacher named China White and now I’m with an incredible company called For The Love Of Dance, located here in Columbus, Ohio.
What inspired you to pursue this field?
Hmm, that is a great question. I don’t really have like a deep story for that. I have a super corny story, though (lol). Basically, everything happened at age 3. Three was when I knew that I wanted to dance. My mother used to just put techno music on in our basement and I would just GROOVE for hours. And then there’s this story about who got me started with tap dancing, and that was actually Bill Cosby (lol). There’s an episode of The Cosby Show when Bill tapped danced, and he battled I believe it was Rudy’s dance instructor. They were just going at it man, and every time each person finished they said ” challenge.” I just remember telling my Nana the next day that I wanted to tap dance and she indeed put me in tap dance classes.
Why is your work so important to your community?
I don’t feel like my work is important to the community YET due to the fact that the community doesn’t quite know who I am or what I do. Which is my fault for not putting myself out there as much as I should; and that will be a change I make in my life very very soon. I have a strong desire to be there to help our young and talented individuals. I want to be able to teach dance classes or hold a showcase or even dance battles. I just don’t feel like it’s enough opportunities for dancers here. I want to be able to be that person who can break that ice so we can have more events for dancers, young and older ones. But I also want every event and every dance class I teach to have a reason behind it. I don’t want the money to go towards me I want it to go towards those who are less fortunate or something like a program for our young artists, because there aren’t many.
What one piece of advice would you give to young women of color in pursuit of their dreams?
For the most part, believe in yourself and be confident. Walk your path towards your dreams with your head held high. You ARE amazing and you CAN do it. Love the skin you’re in because it’s beautiful.
OWN IT!! SHOW OUT!!
To be completely honest, I was afraid to dance for this dance company because I was gonna be the only black dancer in that ballet class and I didn’t want that attention on me. I just wanted to dance. But if I had the mindset I have now I would walk straight into that dance class, pick me a ballet barre to stand at and OWN IT! Because I believe I am an amazing dancer and I’m not afraid to let anyone know. So just be yourself, continue to be the beautiful queen you are and understand that you can do anything you put your mind to!
How do you stay grounded in your efforts? How do you keep on going strong?
I pray and I dance in my room or kitchen EVERYDAY to stay centered and to keep going strong.
What are some of the most difficult obstacles you’ve faced in your work?
Being afraid. Holding back when I have so much more to give on the dance floor. Also overthinking. Oh my gosh. I think so much when I dance, when I should just be DANCING. Like what the heck are you thinking about, Tia? And then I watch a video and I’m not satisfied with what I see because I can tell I’m thinking instead of giving personality. I’m working on it, though.
What’s the most rewarding part of what you do?
Agh! Love this question! (lol). I would have to say performing and leaving all of me on that stage–all of my battles, all of my problems. Also, sharing my emotions through body movement. And my ultimate favorite is when I feel like I didn’t do so great during my performance and it’s the end and strangers come up to me telling me how amazing I was. Great feeling. I’m thirsty for that at the end of every show. Because I put myself down so much. Another thing I’m working on.
What’s next for you in your journey?
Just getting myself out there more. Getting way more busy with my craft, take A LOT of dance classes and perform a lot more. Plus, For The Love Of Dance is starting after the New Year so I’m pretty excited about that. Shout out to Paris by the way; that woman is my angel. I appreciate her for pushing me to be not only an amazing dancer but an amazing woman too. I appreciate her for always believing in me. It really means a lot and makes me continue to do what I love!
What’s your favorite quote?
“Just keep swimming.”
To keep up with Tia, follow her handles below: