Another week, another #FEMMEFEATUREFRIDAY! We are stoked to introduce Latoya Webley to you this week. Latoya is a powerful and fearless dancer, artist, and businesswoman, and her strong sense of self has led her to much success. She’s a Toronto native who’s been dancing for 17 years now, and her talent has taken her on jobs across the globe. Above her talent, this motivated woman exudes strength, courage, hard work, and persistence, and her vibrant personality is undoubtedly contagious when you’re around her.
Latoya has performed with some of the top artists in the game, including Rihanna, Black Eyed Peas, Will Smith, Sean Paul, P. Diddy, Jill Scott, Flo Rida, and Akon to name a few. She’s done both print and commercial work for So You Think You Can Dance (Canada), The Discovery Channel, Miller Lite, and Sony, too. Most recently, you can see her killing it on the world tour stage with the world’s #1 rap artist Drake on his Summer Sixteen Tour and the European, New Zealand, and Australian legs of his Boy Meets World tour. Also, she credits her success to the amazing choreographers she’s had the opportunity of working with, such as Tanisha Scott, Hi Hat, Fatima Robinson, Diana Webley, Luther Brown, Jae Blaze, and Tina Landon. What a resume!
Not only is Latoya an accomplished professional dancer, but she also spends her time working on the business side with the boys of Drake’s crew October’s Very Own (OVO). She knows how to hold her own in a room full of powerful men, and it’s her laid-back, genuine, dedicated, and loyal vibe that allows her to be a successful artist and businesswoman. She’s also shared her experiences and knowledge with others by teaching workshops in Toronto, LA, DC, Japan, Australia, and New York. We applaud Latoya for never being afraid of trying new things, exploring different avenues, and expressing herself in more ways than one. It can be challenging to commit to multiple things at once, but Latoya is a living example of a woman who is able to do it all and still be a kindhearted and humble individual. Thank you Latoya for answering our questions and for always spreading positivity wherever you go. You’re a gem!
You are such a badass working with all the boys of OVO! What’s it like to be constantly surrounded by men in your work environment?
Thank you! I went to high school and grew up with some of these guys. They’ve always been a part of my life and have supported/encouraged me throughout my dance career. I remember when I use to do background work as a student on the TV show Degrassi to supplement my income as I was training to become a professional dancer. Who would have thought that over a decade later I would be touring w/ the #1 rap artist, Drake, who played Jimmy on that very same show. I am surrounded by and constantly interacting predominately with men on a daily basis, and I am blessed and fortunate to say my experiences have been very positive. I can attribute most of these positive interactions to the power of choice. I believe at the end of the day I am only in control of myself and my actions. I’ve always chosen to conduct myself in a professional/respectful manner. In my opinion being self-aware and respecting your worth brings about longevity and will always trump booking any job.
Why is female empowerment important to you?
Female empowerment is the doorway to our future. It’s important for all females to unite and continue to kick down doors, voice their opinions and dismantle the glass ceiling. I’m never intimidated when I sit at a table or walk into a room that is heavily male-dominated. I see the bigger picture and I’m aware of all the time, energy, lost dreams, silenced ideas and lost battles that were fought before me. I see it as my duty to do my part as a smart, educated, black women... to step out and make a difference wherever and whenever I can.
What do you do to stay positive?
Pray, work hard, eat well, laugh, have fun and exercise. Repeat!
If you could give a piece of advice to your 10-year-old self, what would you say to her?
OMG, there is so much that I would love to say, but ill sum it up with these 3 things:
“There is no blueprint to success.” Everyone’s interpretation of success is different, therefore there is no one absolute way to attain it. The various paths to success are endless. For some it can come easy and for most, consistency, hard work and dedication will be the driving force on YOUR JOURNEY to success.
“Stop and smell the roses.” We set so many goals throughout our lives and at times we are so engulfed in the process of achieving and moving on to the next goal that we don’t take the time to stop and enjoy the journey/moment. It’s so easy to get caught up in the idea of what’s next. Life is short so be kind to yourself and you’ll realize the journey becomes way more enjoyable when you stop, appreciate and celebrate even the smallest achievements.
“You are where you are supposed to be.” There is a lesson to be learned in every situation and in every phase of our lives. Be patient and continue to work hard and your time will come.
What's your definition of a YGTGirl?
A YGTGirl is someone who is powerful, strong, unique, fearless, and unstoppable. I believe this concept of a YGTGirl is embedded in every woman. Deep down, we all harbor this innate sense of greatness and willpower to encourage ourselves in some of the hardest times. Although it may seem dormant in some, it doesn't negate the fact that it’s there waiting for you to access it when you’re ready.