Neighborhood Studios Spotlight: Lili St. Amand

Local dancer and Hip-Hop teacher Lili St. Amand was looking for ways to do what she loved as a teenager and jumped at the chance to take part in Neighborhood Studios’ Breakdancing Shakespeare program. She will be performing at the Summer Soirée on Wednesday, June 26 along with other Breakdancing Shakespeare alumni – don’t miss the chance to see Lili and support Neighborhood Studios, the Arts Council’s youth arts education program!

Tell us about yourself in a few sentences.
I’m a very artistic person. School was never my thing but when I got to art class I strived from a very young age. I also like to express myself through my hair and clothing. I feel it helps me speak louder about who I am.

When were you a part of Neighborhood Studios and which program(s) did you participate in?
I did Breakdancing Shakespeare [at Hartford Stage] for two years.

What drew you to Neighborhood Studios?
What drew me to this program is that I could do what I loved and get paid for it. Getting paid for what you actually like to do can be pretty hard especially at such a young age (and I was 16 at that point).

Describe your experience with the program – what did you do while you were there and what did you learn/take away?
This program opened a lot of doors for me as a dancer. There were a lot of dancers in the program that were already on the underground dance scene. A lot of them took me under their wing and showed me the places to session, what dance battles to go to, and the best workshops. This then allowed me to make more connections and blossom within the dance community we have here.

The program itself taught me how to be an even better performer. It taught me how to push my dancing to the next level and use it in different ways I had not thought of yet. This program also taught me the basic skills of how to market yourself well and how to create a resume. These skills then helped me in my actual dance career outside of the program which I am very thankful for.

What are you doing now and how did Neighborhood Studios help you get there?
I am a local Hip-Hop teacher now in the Hartford County area. I travel to do out-of-state dance battles which has led me to some success. In 2017 I won World Of Dance New Jersey Head Bangers Brawl. The year after I was asked to come back to judge and showcase. And now I’m so excited to be the assistant choreographer for Breakdancing Shakespeare! I can’t wait to provide the same fun learning experience to these kids that I had when I was in it.

 What is a fun fact about you?
A fun fact about me is I love rescuing animals! I have two cats off the street and they’re the best cats ever!!! I’m even throwing a birthday party for my cat that I will have for a year on June 23rd (the day I picked him up off my street).

– Grace Amell, Marketing Intern

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