When asked about the nature of her work as a professional dancer, Erynn Joi says, “we are the backbone of this industry.” Her impressive climb to the top, which began a short time after her weaning, has certainly given her a strong spine—not only physically, but mentally as well.
“This business isn’t built for everyone,” she warns, “but if you are strong, with passion and drive and you feel this is what you want to do, [then] by all means go for it!” Born in the Pittsburgh suburb of Donora, Pennsylvania, Erynn started her training at age two, and has been trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, HipHop, Pointe, Acrobatics, and gymnastics. At nine years old, she performed with R&B/Pop singer Montell Jordan at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, and has danced with the likes of J.Lo, reggaeton sensation Don Omar, and the late Michael Jackson. She graced the stage of the 2009 Video Music Awards with “Miss Beyonce,” and says of the experience: “I felt at that moment, I have reached the level of where I wanted to be as a dancer.”
What better thing to do when one has reached a certain level than to transcend? Erynn is now working to launch her music career as well, describing her style as “smooth, funky, new”, and influenced by music of past generations. “Music has been [a part] of my whole life,” she explains. “My dad plays the guitar and my mother has a beautiful voice. I can’t remember a time growing up as a little girl that music wasn’t playing in my household.” She views her vocal art as an extension of her physical expression, saying “dance expresses my thoughts through my body movement and music expresses it with my words. It just all fits together perfectly to make my puzzle complete.”
As much as she feels she’s taken with her from her professional journey so far, Erynn says she’s picked up from her mentors a few tricks for success in her business. “I’ve learned to always be on time…always keep a positive attitude… and always go full out! [Give] 200% instead of one.” New York City, she admits, is a tough place, and she credits it for having built up her resolve, and fed her drive to achieve. She advises young women looking to achieve what she has to “keep a good head on your shoulders and to not get lost in the game”, reiterating, “The only person that can stop you is YOU!”
Erynn currently stays busy with performances, as well as, her own entrepreneurial ventures, including her dance school, Dance 4 Joi. She also operates a custom lingerie line, E.Baby Custom Couture, and says “there is just so much I want to do while [I’m] here on earth”, and that her hope for the future is to “continue doing what I love to do and to get the chance to expose it more to reach the masses of people and inspire them the way [I’ve] been inspired!”