Arlondriah the Dancing Model
Arlondriah Lenyéa is a 5’8″ Creole/African American-French-Indian, professional, technically trained dancer and a published print & runway model who has decided to pursue a career in dance, modeling, and acting all at once.
When did you start dancing?
I started dancing in New Orleans, Louisiana as a teenager following behind my cousins, and continued my training in Los Angeles, California. I started professionally training when I got into college. My favorite event I would have to be when I performed in the 3-day APAP (Association of Performing Arts Presenters) Booking conference because I got to go to New York for the first time! I absolutely love traveling.
If you can pick one costume that you would love to wear on stage; what would it be?
I love wearing a halter leotard, with a big, long, flowing skirt or just the leotard with long sheer fabric.
What inspired you?
What inspired me to want to dance was seeing the connection that you make with the people you’re dancing with on stage. It’s truly beautiful to watch a performance where everyone is on one breath, and breathing together, and emotionally and mentally connected. Most people don’t even connect that deeply, or that intensely with their life partner or someone they’re married to; so to be able to find that connection with a group of people or even just one other person for a duet is simply a hypnotically beautiful experience to have.
Would you say dancing is an outlet for you?
Dancing is definitely an outlet for me…. Mentally, spiritually, emotionally, especially physically. On days when I don’t dance, at the end of my day I get the feeling as if I forgot to do something today. My day just doesn’t feel complete.
What forms of dancing are you familiar with?
I trained with Lula Washington Dance Theater, so I was trained in literally just about every style of dance; I was trained to be versatile, to be able to pick up any dance style. I am trained in ballet & pointe, tap & jazz, hip hop & house, African, Horton, modern/contemporary.
My favorite styles are Horton, contemporary, and hip hop & house.
When did you find a love for modeling?
I started modeling before I started dancing so it has always been in me to want to model and so has that love for it; my mother only gave me an option to either model, act, or dance… One or the other. Now that I am able to make my own decisions as an adult about my career, I have decided to pursue all of my loves at once. My motto is if you have natural abilities and talents, then you should put them to work for you and use them to get you where you want to be in life.
How has dance helped you in manuevering your body into poses?
Being a dancer first and then going into modeling, I am more aware of my body and I have a greater sense of muscle memory. I know how to create and hold any pose a photographer shows or describes to me… Photographers I have worked with have told me that my movements and poses are more natural, like my body does what I tell it to… Not to mention I am more physically capable of doing more flexible, or physically challenging poses because I am a dancer. I am able to take notes and critiques from photographers and apply them right away.
Who are some of your favorite designers?
My favorite designers tend to be on the couture, avant guarde, and high fashion realm. I love that style of fashion with the dramatic make up and hair!
What future endeavors do you have coming up?
I will be performing at the Cal State LA graduation with Lula Washington Dance Theater, where the founder of the Black Lives Matter movement will be in attendance.
Photography: WNO Photography