Okay, ladies [and gents] now let’s get in formation with 28-year-old dance extraordinaire, Kiira Harper. Kiira Harper is a Long Island, NY native and a proud graduate of the Home by the Sea, also known as Hampton University. Graduating in May of 2011 with her degree in Public Relations and Communications, Kiira had aspirations to be a celebrity publicist, but being a part of Hampton’s dance team (Terpsichorean Dance Company) only solidified that dance was Kiira’s life calling.
At the young age of seven, the Hampton U alumna first got her foot into the dance world. As a child, Kiira’s parents made it a requirement for her to participate in an extracurricular activity. Initially, soccer was the sport of choice, but Kiira greatly disliked those cold, winter months that New York bestowed, so her father placed her in dance, unknowingly invoking Kiira’s future.
Despite being well acquainted with dance, Kiira’s professional career didn’t really begin to take off until last year after booking Super Bowl 50 in Feb. 2016, dancing alongside the Queen herself, Beyoncé!
*Gets in Formation*
“I happened to be in Los Angeles assisting a choreographer on a project, and to make a long story short, saw a friend of mine, who danced for [Beyoncé] at the time, in a bar the night I was headed to the airport. As I boarded the plane, I got a phone call asking me frantically, ‘KIIRA WHERE ARE YOU?’ I told her I was on the plane and she said, ‘GIRL GET OFF!’ I ran off the plane, and headed straight to her hotel.” Kiira said. “I didn’t know what it was for or anything. The next day I got into rehearsal and found out what was going on. SHOCKED AND NERVOUS I was, but I just did my job.”
Super Bowl 50 was the third most-watched broadcast in television history, according to CNN. So imagine performing in front of a crowd of that magnitude. “It’s like you black out, but still feel EVERYTHING at the same time and then it’s all over. It’s life changing,” said Kiira.
Recently, Kiira went viral dancing to “My Neck, My Back” by Khia. Choreographed by Yanis Marshall, the video has garnered more than 2 million views on YouTube since its posting in August 2017, but one particular tweet intensified the popularity of the video and stirred up a bit of controversy. The caption of the viral tweet read, “Now WE ALL KNOW the Black woman in the black shirt should have been in the front.”
— BeigeSuedeLemonade (@artsy_blipster) October 6, 2017
Nobody puts Baby in a corner!!!!
— Nova Nina (@Fresh_Tendrils2) October 5, 2017
It's not a race thing…it's a she did it better thing, the black girl did it better. The girl with more melanin did it better.
— Dr Warrior (@Sipho_Sabo) October 6, 2017
In response, Kiira said, “See on social media, you all see just the good, BUT let’s be honest and human for a second. We had taped that combination right before, and I messed up SOOOO BADDD hahahaha. So when he gave me a second chance, I put myself in that spot just in case I messed up again because I wasn’t feeling my most confident.”
It is safe to say that she definitely redeemed herself.
To experience Kiira live, you can easily go to one of her classes. She has been traveling and teaching bicoastal for over four years! “My class is open to all ages 18+. I teach separate two-hour BEGINNER workshops called BASIC HEELS FOUNDATION. Those classes are specified, and labeled upon announcement. Any other class is choreography and INT [intermediate] or INT/Advanced level.” As of right now, any information regarding classes or dance workshops, is posted on her Instagram (@kiiramharper), but soon Kiira’s website, SimplyStiletto.com, will be up and running with full information.
In the midst of all the newfound fame, Kiira still uses her platform to speak out against social injustice. Dedicating a series of posts to Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Jordan Edwards and Colin Kaepernick, Kiira said “I plan to keep being VOCAL! You can’t always teach an old dog new tricks, but you can show them how they are done. It’s about raising awareness that the injustice happening here in this country is in fact REAL.”
Kiira is bound to make an impact on many as she hopes to both teach and tour internationally. She wants to globally help girls find their confidence and beauty, so they don’t wrongly seek it. When asked to give advice to those striving to break into the dance world she said, “Always have an open mind, but never change who you are. Be authentically you, and you will always be happy because those who love you will love you for the real you, the real artist, and the real performer that you are.”