The Dancer: Maleek Washington
When we were seven, we were throwing temper tantrums 'cause mom wouldn't buy us those light-up high tops. Maleek Washington, on the other hand, was exercising his gams (not his tear ducts), dancing at Broadway Dance Center and the Harlem School of the Arts. His education continued at prestigious institutions like the LaGuardia High School for Performing Arts and The Boston Conservatory, leading to a role in the CityDance ensemble that took him everywhere from Dubai to Moscow. Prodigy? No question. But minus the burnout of a child star — Washington is currently in his first season with NYC's Abraham in Motion, a touring company that injects some urban flair into traditional routines. Think: "Boyz In The Hood: Pavement," a full-length performance derived from the movie.
Like the high-octane show — premiering in November at Harlem Stage — Washington's a study in motion: "The joke is my mom thought I had A.D.D so she put me in dance to tire me out. It didn't work." And, for that, we can be grateful — watching Washington move is an instant shot of amphetamine. "When someone tells me I changed their perception of dance while watching me perform, that's my favorite moment of my job." We imagine it happens quite a bit.
Hair by Sera Sloane Bishop, makeup by Erin Green and Tiffany Patton.