OMG...SHEisDOPE: Jessica Oglesby
Have you ever met someone that's so good at their craft that you believe that they were put on the earth to deliver that raw, talent? Think of those natural athletes like Serena Williams or an effortlessly talented actress like Lupita Nyong'o. This is the exact impression that Jessica Oglesby's explosive, dance moves portray as she performs.
I love Atlanta and it will always be my home, but I had to grow up.
Jessica is from the Atlanta area, but took her talents to LA to create more opportunities for herself. She just landed a spot on Phlex's, Phlextravaganza, a two-month program where Jessica along with other dancers will perform around LA. The finale will be in May with special guest performances and this is one of Jessica's greatest opportunities yet.
Maybe, you've seen this video on social media. Jessica is the one with the purple hair, swaggin' throughout the video. Watch it below.
Q&A with J.Oglesby
At what point in life did you realize that dancing was your passion and that you wanted to do it professionally?
I would say that I was around the age of 12 or 13 when I realized that I wanted to dance professionally. I had gone to an intensive run by Mrs. Debbie Allen and I had a teacher there named Alexander Pelham. He was the toughest teacher and I hated him, but he truly taught me about the strength and focus it takes to be a dancer. He also taught me how no one else can do what we (dancers) do. He always said that the farthest we can fall is the floor, so we should always go for the things we want. Hearing this and meeting him truly helped me see that dancing is the only thing that I wanted to do.
Out of curiosity, what's your favorite dance craze?
When it comes to dances crazes, even though I love the Nae Nae, my ultimate dance craze is the Dougie lol. Every time that song comes on, I go crazy!!!
How do you separate yourself from other talented dancers during auditions?
This is actually a very good question. I've never really thought about that. I already know that I have a different look, and I already know that I have a different body type, so I try to just go in as myself and not even think or worry about the other girls in the room.
That sounds like a great strategy to remain focused on dominating. So,what's been your biggest gig thus far?
I actually just had a gig a couple of weeks ago, and it was for The Late Late Show with James Corden. They asked me to come back and be in a video for their March Madness episode airing April 3. (Watch the clip at the bottom of the interview.)
Nowadays, we see so many people move west to pursue their dreams. Why did you move from Atlanta to LA? Are the opportunities really that much greater?
I love Atlanta and it will always be my home, but I had to grow up. Even though I was on the professional scene in Atlanta, I wasn't working and no one was booking me on any gigs. I then had to evaluate myself. I had to realize that I didn't look like any of the other girls who were booking. I'm short,thick, a tomboy,and I'm always being told to lose weight or that I kind of dance like a guy. Before I moved, my image wasn't the most popular look.But, in LA, there are more women who dance and look like me. I had to go where the way I looked would be more embraced.
What are you listening to right now?
I have different songs that I like right now, but I'm not really focused on one, new sound. To be honest, I've just been listening to my iPod and any song that pops up on the shuffle lol.
There's nothing like listening to your iPod on shuffle when a #flashback track comes on. Nostalgia! If you could give advice to aspiring, young dancers, what would you tell them?
If I were to give any advice, I would say to always be yourself and to always give it your all. You never want to regret anything and you always want to keep your integrity as a dancer, and more importantly, as a person.
Firstly, congrats on booking Phlextravaganza!! What's it been like dancing with Phlex?
It's been great working with Phlex, he's very passionate about his program. We just started rehearsals so I'm still getting used to his movement and the way that he works. But, I'm really excited to learn more and to grow.
Lastly, where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I hope to be on my second tour or at least doing consistent work without having to audition.