Stepping Out with the Honeybeez
The Honeybeez (@asuhoneybeez) are a dance crew from Alabama State University that embody the power of expressive movement. Each member of the team brings a unique flair to the game—and it’s that unapologetic representation that makes their success so easy to root for. We sat down with the crew’s coach, Anna, and three dancers: Asia, Bianca and Jairia.
In a state famous for football, how do you feel dance is adding a new dimension to the community and culture of sport in Alabama
Dance is a feel-good sport. It gives football fans a break to be entertained by music and visuals.
Have you ever felt like you weren’t taken seriously as dancers and athletes? In what ways did the support of your fellow Honeybeez help you overcome that feeling?
I feel like we haven’t been taken seriously in the past years, but our coach makes us feel important. She gets us to prepare for the naysayers. They don’t know how much work we put in to put on a great show—but as a team, we show up and show out.
Has the sisterhood you’ve found with the Honeybeez surprised you?
I never expected a complete stranger to care about me the way they do. It’s a bond that can never be broken.
Studies have shown young women dropping out of sports at twice the rate of young men. What would you say to someone struggling to find the confidence to continue participating in an activity they love?
Always remember why you started. You will have your ups and downs. Keep your eyes on the prize. The reward of finishing is so great.
Was there ever a time when you didn’t believe in yourself or your abilities? How did you overcome that feeling?
We all experience self-hate, self regrets, or see someone who’s better. You won’t know what you can achieve if you don’t follow through.
As a creative leader, how do you balance staying true to yourself while also serving as a role model for the next generation?
As a coach, I feel it’s not about me—it’s about the many young women who come under my wing for love, support and acceptance. I was born with a big imagination, so my creativity is endless when it come to the Honeybeez. I stay true to myself by never letting others dictate how my team feels or looks at themselves.
What have been the biggest influences on your personal style?
It’s more of an era thing—Asia is a hippie, Bianca is eclectic, and Jairia is more basic, but loves to keep it cute. I look to Beyoncé, Ciara and Teyana Taylor for inspiration when it comes to the entire group’s look.
In what ways does your sense of self shine through in what you choose to wear?
Any time you wake up in the morning you want to look good. If you look good, you feel good—so I choose looks that make me smile.
How can personal style be used to communicate in ways that a person may not be able to? What does your style say about yourself that words can’t?
Most people judge a book by its cover, so I choose things that represent me. My personal style will probably say that I’m weird.
Do you think dressing the way you want has given your greater confidence in other areas of your life?
Dressing is a sense of self-expression, so when you learn your personal style, you learn about who you are. Then the confidence flows through.
Is style an art or an attitude?
Styling is an art and an attitude. It’s an art because it’s your image and how you paint yourself. And it’s an attitude because it gives the vibe and confidence of who you truly are!