If you went to Uncivilized Society this spring semester, you might remember seeing Georgia Southern student and talented dancer-choreographer Nina Singleton perform during the event.
Singleton is a post-baccalaureate recreation major with an emphasis in recreational therapy. Though she has only been at Georgia Southern since last January, she will graduate this May 2020.
Singleton wants to work as a certified recreational therapist at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, and this summer she has an internship there. With recreational therapy, Singleton said they work with people with disabilities and illnesses and help them by giving them activities to help with their quality of life.
While dance could be involved as an activity, Singleton said it’s kind of separate from her desire to be a recreational therapist.
Singleton is also a certified personal trainer, so she would be doing stuff in the physical domain to help people out and get them back to the life they had before their illness.
Her previous bachelor’s degree from a state university is in communications with an emphasis in public relations.
In addition to performing at Uncivilized Society, Singleton just joined Dyverzion, a GS dance team, as well as teaches hip hop classes every Wednesday at the Recreational Activity Center (RAC). She also performed for “Shine Black Girl Shine!” after someone found her on Instagram and asked her to dance.
Singleton teaching a class at the RAC. Photo by Isis Mayfield.
Singleton said her good friend and RAC coworker Jalease Turner wanted some great talent entertainment at Uncivilized Society, the fashion show Turner hosted and coordinated. So, Turner asked Singleton, and Singleton agreed to perform at the event.
Singleton has danced for a long time.
“When I was three years old, my parents put me in little basic tap and ballet classes,” Singleton said. “And I just fell in love with it. I fell in love with performing in general.”
Singleton enjoys ballet, but she really loves hip hop, which is what she does the most.
Singleton said she dreams about dance sometimes. She said she dances because of the feeling she gets from just moving her body freely and that the music has a big part to do with it. Instead of listening to the words, she listens to the beat.
In addition to being a dancer, Singleton also choreographs her dances. She’s choreographed for going on seven years.
“And when I make up my dances, I always make up my dances based off the beat,” Singleton said. “And that just, really, it just makes me feel good. Like, dancing in general just makes me feel good. And this keeps me in physical shape, too.”
Singleton said Atlanta–where she’s from–is huge in the dance community. She took a lot of classes there.
She also follows a lot of famous choreographers on Instagram, such as Chris Brown’s choreographer. So, taking classes in Atlanta or looking at the choreographers’ videos or movements inspire her own choreography.
“I’m, like, ‘Oh, that looks kind of good,’ ” Singleton said. “And I just do it.”
Every Wednesday when she teaches hip hop at the RAC, she makes up new choreography every week to teach her students.
Attendee of RAC class showcasing Singleton’s choreography. Photo by Isis Mayfield.
Singleton said her role models are her parents 100%.
“So, my parents are my role models because they came to every performance I’ve ever had,” Singleton said. “They’ve always been there. Support me no matter what the situation is.”
She said she actually gets her rhythm from her dad. When she was younger, she liked to get in his size 15 shoes and tap dance. So, her father always brings up that she got her dancing from him.
Singleton likes dancer Deja Carter, who just moved to Atlanta. Singleton said she likes Carter because she teaches quiet hip hop classes and Singleton really liked her style.
Singleton said something she’s had to overcome is getting denied a position to dance. She said that teaches her to just shake it off and keep moving but, when she does get a yes, to also be humble and grateful for that.
Singleton said dancing at Uncivilized Society was great. As she just came to the school and a lot of people don’t know her, Singleton said she feels like it was a great way to brand herself and get her face out there.
“But I really enjoyed it,” Singleton said, “and the crowd was great. Everybody was respectful and clapping.”
At this point, Singleton said she is used to being in front of a crowd. But she said she can honestly say it was definitely nerve-wracking when she first started performing. She has been dancing and performing for so long that, even though she does get nervous a little bit, she is more excited than nervous.
“I’m ready,” Singleton said.
Singleton teaching her class at the RAC. Photo by Isis Mayfield.