MEET 2024 HEADLINER Joelle D'Fontaine...

Joelle D’Fontaine, a self-made figure in the dance realm, is a hard-working dancer, movement director, and choreographer. As the visionary owner of At Your Beat studios in London and New York, Joelle has cultivated a global movement community. His expertise extends to high fashion brands, leaving an indelible mark with choreography and movement direction for Sophia Webster, Pucci, and not only modelling and performing but sharing his creative in various Nike campaigns.

Being scouted and signed to be a global Nike trainer, Joelle’s influence resonates beyond the dance floor. He has curated captivating performances and music videos for renowned artists like Rina Sawayama and Mø, showcasing his exceptional and artistically accessible choreographic talent. His collaboration roster extends into the entertainment and fashion industry, including projects with Sony, Puma, Google, ASOS, and Instagram.

Joelle’s creative flair has had him grace the pages of VogueUSA magazine, and his involvement in social campaigns for Warner Brothers Music and Virgin Music, working with promoting artists such as Sean Paul, Rita Ora, Sia, and Ariana Grande, highlights his versatility. With an extensive background in both dance and brand partnerships, Joelle stands as an inspiring figure for aspiring dancers looking to make their mark in the industry is living proof of how to be multidimensional artists.

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GET TO KNOW Joelle..

What are you most looking forward to as a Headliner of MOVE IT 2024? 

As a Headliner of MOVE IT 2024, I’m eagerly anticipating the opportunity to witness the diverse and inclusive dance styles, connect with people, and showcase our vibrant community on the main stage.

What is the most important lesson you have learnt in your career so far?

 The most crucial lesson I’ve learned in my career is to avoid complacency. It’s important to view dance as a journey, constantly exploring new facets and evolving into something more. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? / Further career goals in the dance Industry? 

In the next five years, I envision expanding our studios across Europe through our franchising efforts which have already started with us opening in Madrid soon. Additionally, I hope to advocate for dance in schools by partnering with businesses, as government funding for the arts is diminishing. My aim is to utilize our influence to shift the status quo. I’m deeply involved with the Nike dance team, and I aspire to further collaborate with this brand to spread the transformative power of dance.

Do you have any advice for young aspiring dancers who want to get into the professional dance world? 

To young aspiring dancers, I advise against limiting oneself and trying to emulate someone else’s career. There’s a wealth of opportunities within the dance industry beyond the stage or music videos. Embrace various avenues, stay receptive, be kind, and you’ll enjoy a fulfilling career collaborating with diverse creative brands and establishments. If dance isn’t readily available, be the catalyst to bring it to others.

What does dancing mean to you? 

Dance, for me, embodies the freedom to uplift my mood at any moment. It served as an escape from challenging circumstances in my past. It showed me the potential for personal growth and how I could extend that journey to inspire others. Ultimately, dance is about building a community, spreading joy, and connecting through movement.

Are there any influences on your style of dance? 

One of my major influences in dance is Jonte Moaning. Their unapologetic, flamboyant, and queer style in videos like “Bitch You Better” resonated with me deeply. As I began to explore the club scene, individuals like Sisco Gomez Kash powell, and many more who embraced their individuality inspired me. Despite my lack of formal training, I found joy in dancing freely.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that you face as a dancer? 

The primary challenge I face as a dancer is belief in oneself. It’s easy to doubt whether we’ll achieve success, especially when auditions or opportunities don’t materialize. Redefining what “making it” means on a personal level is crucial. Each journey is unique, and once you embrace that, you can forge your own path.

What do you think are the most important qualities for success in the dance industry? 

Respect for people, processes, and oneself, along with consistency and a willingness to challenge oneself and others, are essential qualities for success in the dance industry. It’s important not to limit oneself or adopt a narrow perspective. And above all, confidence and the belief in one’s potential for success are paramount.

What can we expect from your Main Stage Performance?  

Our Main Stage Performance will showcase the incredible diversity of AYB as a unified community. It’s a celebration of how individuals come together to create something greater than themselves. Expect to witness excitement, joy, and an abundance of love – a testament to what we’ve cultivated at At Your Beat.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself  

An intriguing fact about me is that despite now being a Nike sponsored athlete, my upbringing was marked by solitude living completely alone from the age of 11. I attended school and navigated life without parental support, sustaining myself through various entrepreneurial endeavours. I was then homeless at one point too but this challenging past has shaped my belief that brighter days lie ahead.