“Opportunity is all about preparation!”
Saidah Nairobi is proving that she’s more than just a dancer within the entertainment industry, and just three  weeks away from becoming a new mommy!
You guys may be familiar with Saidah from our previous article [ Click Here]. Over the past few years she’s danced back up for a-list celebrities such as: Ciara, Usher, The Dream, Bruno Mars + MORE. It was a hobby turned passion that Saidah knew she had the capability to achieve after watching Ciara on television.
Talk about FULL circle!!!!!
According to Saidah:
“Really what sparked it was Ciara performing “goodies” [1-2 step]. Growing up in Atlanta [I’m not originally from Atlanta] born in Queens, raised in Atlanta…. but the type of dancing I love doing and the type of dancing that I grew up doing was that ATL gritty/prank dancing/geekin’. So when I saw it on television I was like, “Yo, that’s Atlanta all day!” And that’s the culture I come from. It’s like she was really exposing that culture on television. The combat boots, the military pants, the crop top, it was all there! And it really made it more realistic that what I was doing as a hobby could very much be a career. That’s what sparked it for me in college.”
But according to Saidah, Ciara wasn’t the first artist to recognize her! She was first discovered by none other than Ciara’s choreographer “Jamaica Craft” who teamed her up to work with……
“I got my first big break before the blonde hair. My first big break was “The Dream”. This was around the promotion for his debut album, “Love/Hate”. So this was during, “Shawty Is A 10,” “I Love Your Girl,” and “Falsetto.” He was opening up for Mary J. Blige and Jay-Z. There were co-headlining a tour called, “Heart Of The City” and Jamaica Craft [who is also Ciara’s choreographer, and still is] she was choreographing for the dreams tour. So when I found out through my agent about this audition I was like, “Jamaica equals Ciara… I Gotta Go!” Jamaica Craft was the first choreographer whose eye I caught and ultimately that led me to touring with The Dream & Ciara. Because Ciara came right after The Dream so……. I remember Ciara being on set for “I Love You Girl” and she was just in the corner real lowkey/chill. But I saw her and I was like, “Oooooohhhhhh, it’s going down. She can see me!”
In the words of Saidah, the rest seemed like history!
But the REAL transition in her life came during the “Formation” tour with Beyonce. She’d always loved writing and inspiring, but with the help of Queen B, her territory had expanded which led to other amazing things. So when we asked about the transition, Saidah had the following to say:
“It wasn’t so much the tour itself as it was the timing because right before I booked that tour, I was already in that space of transitioning and moving forward. I had been in that space for a while. I actually started recording music before the tour. It was a great opportunity & timing and the camp was amazing. So it was more so that extra boost! Now, it felt like a full circle completion. Beyonce was the first world tour that I got to do. And with B I got to see every continent on the globe pretty much. It expanded my overall vision of what could be accomplished when you believe in yourself.”
To Saidah, Beyonce was saying:
“Y’all love me, but this is my foundation.”
She had begun to step into her full potential as a woman, which encouraged them to do the same!
“It felt like Beyonce was in a different space too. When I first toured with her she had just gotten married, she was only a year into her marriage with Jay. She had no kids and was in a different space. So to work with her 7 to 8 years later, now she’s a mom, well versed as a wife, and has evolved as a woman. I could really feel her growth because I’m coming on tour as a new wife! Beyonce really owned herself!”
Beyonce’s attitude really seemed to align with Saidah and the space she was in, which is why she wrote the last chapter of her dance memoir: “A Leap Of Faith: The Journey Of A Dream” while on the tour. A project she’d begun in 2011 after her tour with Usher!
Saidah took fans on a 6 year journey with her, and it’s received EXCELLENT reviews thus far. A path, which according to Saidah, that ultimately led to her purpose……
“I remember touring with Usher where I’d do workshops. My favorite part of the workshops wasn’t teaching steps, it was the opportunity to sit down with everyone and let them ask me about my journey, touring, etc…. I was getting a lot of the same questions. So I decided to put it all in a book because my journey has been a platform to inspire others.”
A journey which has led to Saidah’s new found love…..
And we’ll all get the chance to check her out TONIGHT on Youtube Red for the series premiere of, “Step Up: High Water” where Saidah plays the school’s dance teacher “Electra.” A role that she says came so natural!
“I really enjoyed it because I wasn’t a series lead but enough to get my feet wet with the experience on the other side of film. It was really cool to play a role as a dance teacher.”
And even though she wasn’t able to film with Faizon Love; Saidah says that filming with Neyo, Naya Rivera, her husband and other ATL dancers felt like a family affair!
We really enjoyed our chat with Saidah Nairobi. Make sure to check her out TONIGHT on Youtube Red for the premiere of “Step Up: High Water”…..
Check out Saidah’s FULL interview above.