With over 30 years of training in ballet, jazz, and hip hop, there was never any doubt that choreographer Tricia Miranda could move her body. But the choreographer, who began her career as what she's dubbed a "chola ballerina," is also moving people's souls.
A native of Yuma, Arizona, in the early dance days Tricia rocked shaved sides with a bun, dark lipstick, hoop earrings and pointe shoes-- never quite fitting the prima mold. But she received a full scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago in her teens and then at 21 she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her bigger dance dreams. At 24, Beyoncé took notice, casting Tricia in her “Ladies First” world tour and she became a staple on the touring circuit, working with Britney, J.Lo, and the Black Eyed Peas. At the height of her stage career the high energy dancer made a ballsy move to pursue choreography instead. “There is already so much competition in the choreography world and a lot of clients and artists like to use who they've used in the past on other projects,” she says. “It's really hard to get that window of opportunity, to get in with a camp, and then once you're in, proving that your work is great and you're exactly who they want on their team.” But the proof is in the pas de deux in the dancing world.
Her move worked. Definitely in part due to her core belief that you should “stay humble and never stop learning.” It keeps her moving ever forward, “overly prepared” with “more choreography" than she needs, citing the importance of “staying current, working smart” and making sure she is “always easy to work with.”
“Nothing is certain in our industry,” she says, “so making a great living off of dancing is extremely challenging.” You have to be a beat ahead.
In 2014, the L.A-based pro released a video shot in her dance studio in North Hollywood. It was a series of dancers performing her choreography to Nicki Minaj's hit song “Anaconda.” The performances, shot with the sole intention of promoting Miranda’s choreography for an upcoming dance tour, went viral. More videos followed suit. In each, the students, who range in age, gender, and race are encouraged by an off-screen Tricia who rarely makes appearances. And while their bodies work to the same beat, each personality is tangible, self-expression encouraged. In one video of eight-year-old student Aiden Prince busting to her Major Lazer choreography, Tricia sprints on camera to swing him around and give the young buck a hug. The love is there. So is the feeling that despite differences, these kids check their egos at the door, dancing against a backdrop of the studio’s trademark “Unity in Division.”
When she’s not dancing Tricia makes time for cooking, hot yoga, and rescuing dogs from shelters, but wishes she had more time for visiting her family. She understands how important balance is “so you're not over worked, fried or stressed.” But the dancing boss is busy.
She’s gone from choreographing jobs sporadically to working multiple jobs at a time, and 2017 shows no signs of slowing down. “At the top of 2017 I will be choreographing 2 national commercials, the feature film Baywatch will be released, which I choreographed for and my docu series called "Going Off" will be airing on MTV this spring.” In the next five years she says, “I will be moving on to creative directing.”
In a town that’s known to break a few spirits, Tricia’s has stayed bold and strong, breaking the mold instead. It’s encouragement that is passed on to everyone who crosses her path. “Don't let this industry break your soul or take away your passion for the arts,” she says. “Remember why this is the lane you chose, keep fighting for what you believe in and always know your worth.”