Shameelah Kinnear known as Shammy Sham Rock to the dance industry.
Sham describes what she does as “so Loose” overall its creative. It started with dance but it branched out too many things, opened up an opportunity in different avenues for Sham, with these different opportunities she gets to be involved with different people.
Shameelah worked in the tourism industry, describes the experience as amazing as she gets to meet new people every day. She worked in the Entertainment Industry, she’s a dancer, dance teacher and choreographer. She choreographed a few dance pieces and worked in the Movie Industry.
Street style dancing is the first dance style Shameelah was introduced to, as she was training with a lot of b-boys when she started dancing. She was hugely influenced by the B-Boy B-girl funk styles from locking, popping, house, whacking, and trained with panstula dancers in Johannesburg.
Shameelah was fortunate to have trained with quite a number of influential dancers and in the street dance scene as well. She had a various number of coaches from the U.K, United States as well as South Africa. Shameelah says she’s very fortunate to have trained with people who know what they doing, where she gained the knowledge and information that she received from them to pass down.
Shameelah claims she was not naturally blessed with dancing capabilities, therefor she trained herself and disciplined herself to be able to do the things that she’s doing today. Journalism, and Philosophy Were Sham’s first choices after Grade 12, she wanted to be a writer for the Argus, which was her initial plan. In the same year after school, she auditioned for a dance production with no dance experience, the production was called the Temple of Hip Hop 2008, she has not stopped dancing since. She trained, auditioned and met the people she knows today and that are heavy hitters in the dance industry. As they have been a while in the dance scene, she was a new-B. She did things along the way, she interned at a magazine, in the same year she got her first movie role as a dancer.
Each time she tried drifting away from dancing, she ended up being pulled back because of dance career opportunities or training opportunities and it never stopped since 2007. Dancing is something she sees herself do every single day, her goals as a dancer is to sustain it until her 50s. ITs a big challenge as a dancer to sustain your dancing until you in your 50’s. Shameelah doesn’t see the future where she is not dancing, whether she’s teaching or whether she’s involved with community development through dance, she believes she’ll be dancing until her end days.
One of Sham’s mentor is 53 years old and he still dances, still judges and still competing also one of her biggest inspirations.
“Anyone can dance, but to touch people in a way where they want to dance, to make people feel lekker because you feel lekker, those are the things that inspire me to keep dancing.”
Dancing could be very challenging at times, but the inspiration is never ending especially in Cape Town, she adds there are very good, and talented dancers. Inspiration is everywhere in cape Town therefore she definitely thinks she won’t be running out of inspiration anytime soon.
Shameelah says her biggest challenge as a dancer is the sustaining of the dancers, cause before it was not this consistent for the dance scene but she thinks it is just a case of networking, getting out there and making people know your name, know your face. She adds as much as dancing is about the talent there is a business side as well to a dancer. Her challenge was trying to balance both the talent: going to gym, training and making sure her skill is as sharp as it should be, but also getting out there: going to castings and auditions. She adds the challenge should be to organize that and making sure she’s up to standard in every sense which is going out there meeting people and presenting herself as a dancer.
Over the past few years Shameelah has been focusing on The Business side of not just a dancer but as a dance professional to carry it over to the corporate side of dance. She agrees that it’s not an easy career path but it is definitely worth it, and states if you find something that is worth it, it comes naturally to you.
Shameelah has been to many different places namely 2012, she won the Sprite Uncontrollable Competition, she stayed in Manhattan New York, in 2014 she went to Las Vegas for a 10-day training trip all they did was dance-eat-sleep and last year she went to Germany with the Hip Hop Education South Africa team. She adds that Germany was probably her best trip travelling abroad, because it was about helping a community it was so much closer to her. And she is looking forward to travel once again with her dancing and wishes everyone to invest in travelling.
Shameelah is involved in
- · Hip Hop Education South Africa
- · Arts and Culture makes the world go round I partner with the Best College in Salt river, she teaches the kids dancing during the physical education portion of Life Orientation every Monday and Friday as part of their school work. She believes that everything that was relevant when she was growing up is not as relevant for the new generation therefore dance is a great tool to connect with the kids.one of their projects is the Scarf Run, collecting second hand scarfs and other items.
- · Blanket Run on her own, distributing blankets to the homeless but as well as giving blankets to shelters.
- · Teaching workshops in June at Paradiso close to the CPUT in Cape Town for a winter program.
- She involved in so much things, and still wants to do more.
Her positive message is “Don’t listen to anyone who’s going to be negative, because there is going to be people that maybe wanted to dance before you but they could not because their reality was different. So Don’t listen to any “nay-sayers “and don’t listen to anyone that tells you can’t because we are proof that you can, and we are the template as fellow dancers. There is no reason why you shouldn’t!”
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-Goodhope Dance Company
Website - www.shammyshamrock.co.za