Nardia Boodoo

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Born in Baltimore, MD, Nardia Boodoo attended the Baltimore School for The Arts from 2005-2009, the North Carolina School for The Arts 2009-2010, and was a Professional Training Program (PTP) program dancer at Dance Theatre of Harlem from 2010-2011 on full scholarship.

The 26 year old beauty has danced at Jacob’s Pillow in 2011 on a full scholarship. During that time she was part of a select group chosen to work with Stanton Welch on performing an original piece. Ms. Boodoo was asked by Ashley Wheater to attend the Joffrey Academy of Dance as a trainee on a full scholarship with stipend under the direction of Alexei Kremnev and Anna Reznik, where she performed the lead in Choreographers of Color winner Jeremy McQueen’s Black Iris, as well as various works by Alexei Kremnev.

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While at the Academy Ms. Boodoo performed Don Quixote and The Nutcracker with the Joffrey Ballet. In 2014, she was invited into The Washington Ballet’s Studio Company. While with The Washington Ballet, Ms. Boodoo performed many full length ballets such a Ewaard Liang’s Dancing in the Streets, Giselle, Cinderella, Coppelia, Don Quixote, Paquita, Swan Lake, George Balanchine’s Serenade, Theme and Variations, and Septime Webre’s Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, The Nutcracker, Carmen in Havana, Carmina Burana, Sleepy Hollow and his Juanita y Alicia.
 
Ms. Boodoo joined Pennsylvania Ballet as an Apprentice for the 2016/2017 Season.

Ryan Destiny

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Ryan Destiny Irons was born January 8,1995.   Destiny recently was featured in a recurring role on the cable drama “Low Winter Sun,” opposite Mark Strong and Lennie James. She currently stars on the Fox drama Star.

Destiny starred in the 2015 independent film “A Girl Like Grace,” opposite Garcelle Beauvais, Paige Hurd, Raven-Symone and Meagan Good. For her performance in the movie, which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, she earned a Nollywood and African Film Critics’ Award (NAFCA) nomination for Best Lead Actress in 2015.

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She also is a former member of the pop music trio Love Dollhouse and currently is working on a solo project.

Destiny resides in Detroit, MI, where she was born and raised.

 

Marie “Free” Wright(BET Hostess edition)

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Marie Antoinette Wright was born February 7,1975.  She is of African American descent. She is better known by her stage name “Free”. She began her journey in the arts as a child in Boston, MA. She attended the Roxbury Center for Performing Arts for 11 years and traveled and toured as part of a young dance troupe. Inspired by hometown group New Edition, she was part of a few groups in Boston performing and winning talent shows, while honing her singing and rap skills. One of her biggest breaks in her dancing career was performing in the 1991 rap music video “Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.

Free left Boston to immerse herself in her true passion: music. One of Free’s stepping-stones was an internship at a radio station in MA, where she began to make a name for herself. She then made career moves between LA and New York in an effort to build the structure of her calling. She appeared on “Patriots”, the second track on Can-I-Bus, the debut album from critically acclaimed rap artist Canibus. This appearance was her first major appearance and the album eventually went gold. Her appearance on the album was a direct result of her professional connection with Wyclef and his Refugee Camp crew.

“What influenced me to chase after my dreams was music itself; its power and creative medium.” Fate led her to a casting held by BET, where executives choose her to co-host their signature show based in NYC: “106 & Park Top 10 live”. During her 5 years at 106 & Park, Free interviewed notable people such as Michael Jackson, Denzel Washington, Aaliyah, Halle Berry, Maxwell, and Alicia Keys.

In 2003, Free began to record a full-lengthed debut studio album titled, Pressure Free, which was expected to be released in spring of 2008. Free went on to promote the album and release buzz singles via underground mixtapes from early 2003 to 2007. A buzz single, “Uh Huh”, featuring Busta Rhymes, leaked via the internet in hopes of regenerating buzz for the album. Contributors for the debut included Faith Evans, Bink, Scott Storch, Rockwilder, Kanye West, Just Blaze, Rah Digga, Timbaland and Missy Elliott. As of 2012, there is no confirmation if the album will be released.

On December 1, 2009, Clear Channel Radio New York’s Power 105.1 (WWPR-FM), R&B, Hip Hop and Back in the Day Joints, announced that Malikha Mallette will move to co-host “The Ed Lover Show,” 5:30-9:30am and DJ Envy is Power 105.1’s new afternoon personality, 2-6pm weekdays. The announcement was made by Cadillac Jack, Power 105.1’s Program Director. Free stated on her Twitter page “Ok that’s a Tuesday Morning for ya: As of now I will no longer be heard on Power105 in the am: NY thanks for the laughs..rock on!”

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In October 2010, Free returned to BET to produce and star in “106 & Park’s” two-episode anniversary show: “106 & Park: 10 Years & Counting” and “106 & Park: The Celebration, 10 Years Live!” Both shows earned the highest “106 & Park” ratings in BET history.

She can also be seen on BET again as a presenter at the inaugural Black Girls Rock! Awards on November 7, 2010.

On May 9, 2011, Free began co-hosting “The Big Tigger Morning Show” on Washington, DC area radio station WPGC 95.5 FM, alongside Darian “Big Tigger” Morgan, 6am-10am weekdays. In December 2011 when Big Tigger was fired, Free continued the radio show solo.

Leslie Segar (BET Hostess edition)

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Last year I did a “throwback series” on all the beautiful sistas from the 80’s and 90’s.  This series is somewhat similar.  I thought I would do a series on some of the black women that were hostesses on BET back in the day. There’s a lot of things I don’t like about BET.  I can’t stand much of the garbage videos they have on as of late.  And I don’t like the negative portrayal of black men and women most of the time.  But I will admit they did have some fine sistas on BET back in the day.  So I thought I would highlight some of them.  I thought I would start with Big Lez.  She was always one of my favorites.  Although her real name is Leslie Segar. She is a dancer/actress. Leslie was born in New York City, New York, USA. She is known for her work on An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn (1997), New Jersey Drive (1995) and Hav Plenty (1997). She was the co-host of BET’s Rap City in 1993. She was a graduate of Springfield College, degree in Sports Medicine and Physiology.

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Former R&B and rap video dancer and choreographer (over thirty appearances)
Featured dancer in opening credits of FOX’s “Living Single” (TV).

Deidre Lang

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I used to love watching Deidre Lang on the comedy show In Living Color.  She was one of my favorite Fly Girls.  She is a stunning beauty.  But although she’s a great dancer nd actress many don’t know she’s an amazing singer as well. Deidre Lang is known for her work on In Living Color (1990), Herman’s Head (1991) and Back in Step with the Fly Girls (2004).

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Javicia Leslie

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Javicia Leslie was born in Augsburg, Germany. She moved to Maryland at a young age and was raised in Upper Marlboro near Washington, DC. She started performing at the tender age of four, doing plays and commercials. While in college, Leslie ventured into pageantry, winning the title of Miss Hampton University her junior year.

Ms. Leslie is a child of the theater, having performed in many plays since childhood. These include August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls, and Bob Fosse’s Chicago, performed at the local theater.

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Throughout her life, Ms. Leslie took much interest in dance. She studied tap, jazz, and ballet for many years, going on to compete in many competitions.