Q. Who are you? What is your background?
My name is Nekeshia Wall. I was born and raised in Candor, North Carolina. I am an artist and I thoroughly enjoy movement. I began dancing at the age of 16 and I have been fortunate enough to continue this path through adulthood. I am a professor at Elon University and I also adjunct at UNC Greensboro and NC Central University. In mid-2018 I launched my very own dance company Matriarch Dance Co. that exists to empower women of all ages to discover their strength and purpose through dance training, performance, and positive mentorship.
Q. What is your work?
A. My work is encouraging women to “tell and make HERstory” by projecting her voice through embodied learning, performance, and community engagement and…“MentHERship,” building positive relationships that empower young girls and women to feel confident, whole and capable of anything. Too often women are told who they should be, what they should say, how they should behave, etc. I feel it is my mission in life to break the curse that shame has placed over women’s bodies and voices to remind them they can be free to be themselves.
Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. As I am entering Elon University for the Fall of 2019 I have been challenged to do a sight specific work by the dance department. I am looking at setting an outdoor work onto about 6 dancers and telling the story of Potini: the woman at the well (The Holy Bible John chapter 4.) A large portion of this story has been omitted from the King James Bible and just so happens to be a very powerful one. “The woman at the well” has remained nameless in the bible for many years, but history now tells us that she was a powerful woman who with her sisters, stood up to King Nero and courageously martyred herself. I look forward to placing this work on dancers in September.
Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. Recently I quit my full-time job. I was unhappy with my job, however I was secure. It was an office job and my job description was mainly event and systems planning. I was doing this job during the day and worked as an adjunct at various universities in the evenings. It simply was not enough. The main reason I was so unhappy is because I wanted to be totally devoted to dance. I finally came to myself and risked everything and quit, hoping I would eventually receive enough dance work to survive and what I did not receive, I would create. Just a couple of weeks after I took the big plunge, I was offered a full-time job where I will be doing everything I love…teaching and choreographing!
Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it? If not why not what's stopping you?
A. I am getting into the work that I most want to do just now, however, I still want to go further. There are many people I want to study and train with…many places on earth that I want to go. I have dreams of doing art festivals all over the world, raising up a company of powerful dancing women, and sharing what I have learned or created with masses of people everywhere. I do not believe that anything is stopping me. I believe everything is done at the right time, always. I am always listening for what move to make next.
Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. Girl…just live! I remember always being so insecure and concerned about what people thought of me. I would shape and mold myself to whichever crowd I was around and would simply lose myself in people. I was easily manipulated because I wanted so badly to be liked. In retrospect, I now see that if I had been my most authentic self, the right people would have liked/loved me for me and would have been okay with the me I gave them.
Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. Stay prayerful. My mother has said this to me almost every day for years. I think that it is important to stay prayerful about everything. I personally believe in God and I believe that God cares so much about all of us…even the small things that to the average person would think is insignificant. When I find myself getting overwhelmed with the issues of life, I love to pray or meditate. Bringing my cares to God helps place everything in perspective and make wise and mature choices.
Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it?
A. I cannot help but be inspired by the earth around me. Creation is happening all around us all the time. Birds are soaring and singing, water is flowing; trees are stretching to the sky. During stagnant moments I simply go for a walk, read, or even people watch for a while. Then, after a while, I am ready to create again.
Q. Anything else you'd like to share?
A. I really appreciate the opportunity to share and I hope many connections or friendships can be made as a result!
Q. What's your favorite yoga pose?
A. I really love fish pose. I imagine myself releasing any negative energy or trauma I might be storing in hidden places in my body.
Q. How do you live a life of abundance?
A. One way I live a life of abundance is I show up. Every day. Sometimes I do not feel like it. Sometimes I do not feel worthy, however I show up anyway and I think sometimes that is enough. I also try to mediate and pray every single day. Lastly, I find that I can remain humble if I can find gratitude in everything. Good and bad. There is always something that I can be learning from every situation so I am always on the lookout for teachable moments.