Life can sometimes be full of hardships but the man who overcomes them, wins the game. Dylan Cheek is a perfect example of this. Originally an Atlanta native, Dylan Cheek has took chances moving across the country to LA to pursue his dream of becoming a professional dancer. He has now found his way back to Atlanta to live and tell his story. We discussed his days as a youth, his journey, and even being the lead dancer in Ne-Yo's new video. Check out the interview below.
What inspired you to become a dancer?
When I was younger, I was really inspired by Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake but I could never sing. It's really bad. So I just decided to imitate their dance moves. There was this rhythm inside me or something, because dancing was and hearing music in a way that others couldn't was easy to me.
Also how's your journey been leading up to this point?
The journey has had its ups and downs. I've gone through times where I thought I didn't want to dance anymore. Times where it was all I had. I tried college for a couple of years, but that just wasn't for me. At least at the time it wasn't for me. Anyways, the journey has been great. Sometimes it's not the end product that matters, but the whole journey you took to get to that end point, or product.
I know you personally and you took a leap and moved to LA to pursue your dream. What was it like adjusting to a new city? And what did you learn from that experience?
Moving to a new city after living in the same place for 22 years is difficult to do. You've got your best friends, all of your family and loved ones here at home. Then you pack everything up and move to the other side of country. That's hard. I know a lot of people in LA, so the adjustment wasn't too hard. I gravitated towards the Atlanta folk who had already made the move out there and just kicked it with them primarily. However, for my first 6 months out there I was dealing with an injury so I couldn't do much. That really got to me and had me in a bad mental space. I learned a lot though, about myself and what I truly want out of this life.
What brought you back to ATL?
Well even after my injuries healed up while I was living in LA, I wasn't working much. I wasn't apart of a "clique" or anything out there. That's really how you book a lot of jobs. The people you're around. But I'm not about to follow some big shot around like a puppy dog until they book me on a job. A lot of people can work like that, surprisingly, but not me. So I came home for a visit and ended up having an audition for a dance part in a movie that'll be out next spring. I booked that, then booked another job, and a couple more after that. I had to keep extending my trip out here until I decided I just wasn't going to go back to LA.
Recently you were in a lead role in Ne-Yo's new video. How does it feel to be apart of a major role and his comeback?
This was my first time being in a major recording artist's music video. I've done some movies here and there. But dancing behind a top 40 artist is one of those goals that many dancers share. To be apart of something like that and his "comeback" to music was special. It's crazy to watch a music video with over 5 million views and be like "Hey! that's me dancing right next to Ne-Yo." It's a great feeling.
Do you have any goals that you're trying to accomplish this year?
I'm diving deeper into a different realm of the entertainment world. I'm studying acting more and learning what that industry is like. I just want to entertain people, whether it's dancing or acting. But I guess one of my goals is just to gain more knowledge within the film industry. Dance wise, just to better myself and work on my own stuff. I'm not really concerned with booking major jobs right now. Just want to grow for myself.