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"Majinn" Mike O'Neal; Dance that Brings Joy

Submitted by Lisa Kwak on July 16, 2021 - 9:12am
majinn mike leaning back

To celebrate and to recognize that the contributions of Black Americans should be appreciated beyond the month of February, the Department of Dance is using its website and social media platforms to spotlight a different Black dance artist in the greater Seattle area every month through 2021. February, March,  April,  May, and June issues are also available.

In July we celebrate "Majinn" Mike O'Neal! 

"Majinn" Mike O'Neal (he/they)

Majinn is a queer mixed Black movement artist and educator who utilizes their training in multiple dance forms to find and express their whole self. Majinn works to help guide people in becoming more confident and connected in their bodies, to help them find joy in their movement, be their authentic selves and be able to speak their voices primarily through the medium of Black social dance forms.  Majinn is always aiming to grow and to give back to the communities they come from in ways they can. 

Majinn Mike making a funny face

What does being Black mean to you?

Being Black to me means: unwritten history, community,  dreams, and joy, through the sorrow.

How does Blackness inform your art?

Blackness informs my art by being my everyday experience; I do not create art that is not meaningful and relatable to myself. It is authentically me and how I go through the world, past present future.

What inspired you to become a dancer?

Street dance history, joy, community, and expression are what inspired me to "choose" dance.

What is one thing you would tell the younger version of you based on what you have learned in your journey?

Keep being you, do what you do, but stay more consistent with breaking lol.

What is something in your career that you are proud of?

Graduating from UW and "coming back" to teach street and club forms as faculty in the Department of Dance and giving a deeper look at these dance forms. 

 What do you hope your legacy will be?

I hope to inspire others to connect more with themselves, be authentically them, realize life is a constant process of learning and unlearning, and to always try and find joy for themselves. 

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