The Nike Air Force 1 Shadow is a celebration of design and movement – with amazing attention to detail, all centered around the Air Force technology, for a trainer that looks just as good as it feels on foot.
We hosted a brunch and move day in collaboration with Nike and At Your Beat to celebrate the launch of the Air Force 1 Shadow – with good vibes and some of the best up-and-coming dancers in London. We caught up with Shanice to discuss dance, community and her love for Air Force 1’s on the day.
Shanice is part of At Your Beat, a dance and fitness company born out of a celebration of individuality, diversifying fitness.
Tell me about the moment you fell in love with dance.
I was really young, I started dance at 4. I remember from the age of about 6 or 7, and from that age taking it really seriously – me in the playground at school practicing my dances. This is when it became important to me.
How did you first get involved in dance?
So, I first started dance classes age 4, then I started doing amateur theatre performances, then dance shows and stage and the more ‘working’ part of dance probably around 11. I went into professional training at 18, I went to Urdang Academy, which trains in musical theatre dance, and graduated there at 21 and then went into a musical. And since then, I’ve been freelancing and doing fitness dance, professionally and teaching.
What did it mean to you as a kid?
I didn’t mind being in the spotlight as a child. For me it was a platform in a way that I could express myself. That’s what dance is, and you’re so young when you’re doing it you might not understand, but it was definitely a demonstration of self-expression, before it became ‘this is what I want to do’.
Did anyone encourage you?
There was always encouragement from my peers I was dancing with, the dance school, the instructors, and the people that trained me. You want to know the people you’re working with and training with believe in you more than just your family.
What does dance mean for your community?
Dance for my group of friends and my friendship is a way of bringing us all together.
Recently I feel like dance has become more social again, at one point for me it became really intense, and you lose the reason why you’re dancing and it very much does become competitive and quite toxic. But it’s refreshing with At Your Beat as it’s the complete opposite, about support and celebration.
How did you first get involved with At Your Beat?
I happened to notice At Your Beat through a friend and just sent a message that I’d love to get involved and they brought me in for an open day.
So, following on from the question before – what does At Your Beat mean for your community?
The first thing that At Your Beat does – it breaks a massive barrier for the idea of ‘’I’m not a dancer’ – the first thing that people say to you is ‘I can’t dance, I’m not a dancer’ – great! You’re the person I want in my class then. And for us it’s mainly vibe before anything else, it’s the vibe you bring and the energy and supportive side of things.
What inspires you to dance?
We’ve seen so many good people dance, so now it’s more so what do you tell with your story, what do you offer, showing dance in a positive light. For me the inspiring thing is to see humble, friendly dancers that want to work with other people and encourage.
How do you think having you as a coach will impact the girls you work with?
I feel like when you take my class the first thing you’ll realise is you really can be yourself. I think the main thing when you’re in my class is you’ll feel comfortable, and once you feel relaxed you can then learn. The hardest bit to learning is being happy in yourself.
What is your hope for them?
That’s quite a hard question! For a lot of people that we teach, it’s just seeing that what we’re doing is bringing them that enjoyment.
I love to see at the beginning, someone looking to shy and scared, and at the end they’re living their best life. That is so rewarding. With At Your Beat, there’s so much personal development and growth as humans, and I think that’s amazing, you can see that sometimes at your beat is just what some of these women need, and it’s so amazing we can provide that. That’s when my love for teaching really came in.
How important are the shoes you’re wearing when thinking about your outfits? Shoes first, or outfit first?
Me, its outfit first. But that’s also because I have such an array of shoes – if I had only 10 pairs of trainers, I’d do shoes first – but I’ve got shoes to go with all the clothes. I’ve got loads, I’ve probably got about 23 pairs of air force. Now you know what kind of trainer I like!
Why do you choose to dance in AF1’s?
I personally choose to dance in them because I feel they’re quite a strong shoe. I like air force because they still feel really sturdy on my feet. Some shoes feel a bit soft, whereas with dance I still like a heavy shoe so I can feel where my weight it, and weight transfer.
How would you style your AF1 Shadow’s if you were on your way to a dance session?
I would always wear a sock, with an air force, just because I like it. I would wear basketball shorts with air force, obviously, they’re the original basketball shoe anyway, and that’s why they look so sick with it. Or I would style it with tracksuit bottoms, or a legging if you’re feeling in a legging vibe or shorts, and just a nice baggy tee or a hoodie. They’re such a casual shoe, they can go with everything.
What about if you were heading out with the girls?
Wherever I go, I will have a trainer on my feet. I would style it with a cargo trouser, or skinny jeans – an air force always looks nice with skinny jeans. I also like to style them with the pencil skirts, with a hoodie and an Air Force 1.