BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP
On May 5, 2018, a group of legendary dancers from the 90’s otherwise known as MECCA were honored in a special ALL-BLACK tribute affair. Hosted by Kimberly Mays, CEO of KSM Films, these 4 extraordinary dancers who danced behind our favorite 90’s groups including Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Bobby Brown, Jodeci, Father MC, Mary J. Blige, Slick Rick, and Kid-N-Play just to name a few. These ladies are Carolyn Johnson, Saleema Mubaarak, Merylin Mitchell, and Shane Johnson.
The night was filled with excitement, from a plaque ceremony which each lady received a plaque with their name engraved on it, to dancers performing in tribute, to Christopher “Play” Martin who screened his upcoming documentary “And I Danced” which included the ladies giving interviews, to lastly video messages from friends, and those they had worked with in the past.
It was an extreme honor to be in the presence of dancing royalty as they danced the night away, reminisced on old days and pointed themselves out in videos that played on the screen.
Back in the day, unlike now, dancers had to learn intricate routines and deliver each move with precision. They were also seen as celebrities, you were intrigued by them and wanted to know how they did what they did. They were truly gifted in what they did. After almost 30 years, they received their accolade for being instrumental in paving the way for dancers all over.
Shane began in the entertainment business when she was eight years old. She attended The Amas Repertory Theatre in Harlem where she studied acting, singing, and dancing. She mastered the triple-threat status at an early age and went on to choreograph over 100 music videos and worked with legendary artists such as Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Bobby Brown. She also is signed to Ford Modeling agency and has appeared on the cover of several magazines displaying her unique style. As an actress, she has starred on shows that have been shown on HBO, NBC, ABC, and FOX, and has performed in on and off-Broadway plays. Almost 30 years later, Shane is fulfilling her dream of being a writer and a producer for an upcoming television show and a film.
Although hair was always the first love of Merylin, starting in high school where she majored in Cosmetology, she decided to go after her passion for dance in the early 90’s. Throughout Merylin’s career, she worked with such artists as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige, LL Cool J, and Bobby Brown. Touring for years allowed her to jump back into her first love, she would style the dancers, models, and studio personnel on tour and made her transition back to a hairstylist. So, in 2000, she attended Hair Design School and immediately began to freelance in the fashion and entertainment industry. After Merylin received her license, she landed an assistant hair stylist position at the Frederick Fekkai’s salon in New York. Since her dancing days, she got the opportunity to work behind the scenes on TLC’s What Not To Wear as a hairstylist to show host Stacy London, Clinton Kelly, and makeup artist Carmindy. Merylin continues to be a freelance hairstylist catering to her array of versatile clientele.
Carolyn not only got to work with some of the greatest artists of all time, including Michael Jackson, Wh itney Houston, Mary J. Blige, and Bobby Brown, she also got to work with her high school friends. She continues to have a love for dance and choreography, but she has found a new passion for styling. Carolyn has spent the last couple of months as a Uniform Styling Consultant for Delta Airlines.
Dancing was a way of escape for Saleema, she has been blessed to work with Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige, Bobby Brown, and Kid-N-Play just to name a few. To this day, she still enjoys jumping on the dance floor and putting those feet to work with the intricate choreography that she was trained in. Saleema has found another passion since dancing with helping others with a career in healthcare.
Kudos to Kimberly Mays for putting on a first-class event that was full of excitement from beginning to end. She truly put her blood, sweat, and tears into this event, leaving everything on the floor. This tribute did not stop in Atlanta, it is about to go worldwide.