Five Minutes with Ebony Williams

From Single Ladies to Cedar Lake


Granted, we’ve all danced around in our pyjamas to Beyoncé’s Grammy Award winning but how does it feel to be popping your hip next to the Queen Bey? Meet Ebony Williams, the woman that turned down booty shaking with Beyoncé for a place in the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.

How did you get into dance?

As a young girl I would watch television and see artists on TV like Michael Jackson. I’d watch the Thriller video and try to emulate him.


What’s been your career highlight so far?

Dancing with Beyoncé, she’s amazing – a total perfectionist. She would work all night long if she could! I don’t know how she does it. She’s barely out of breath. It’s awesome. It reminds you that you have to work really hard.

How did you feel when you watched the Single Ladies video for the first time?

I didn't tell anybody that I was going to be in the video. I didn’t even tell my mom! I came into work a few weeks after I shot the video and everyone was crowded around a computer, and I so I went in and was like “What are you all looking at guys?” I was so excited when I saw myself; I couldn’t believe it was me.


You helped Beyoncé get back in shape after she gave birth to Ivy Blue...

I gave her a few classes alongside another of her dancers Danielle Polanco. She likes to do sets of reps to get back in shape. We just got her to sweat a bit!

Beyoncé asked you to continue touring with her after the Single Ladies promo tour but you took up the position at Cedar Lake instead. Why?

I feel like I’ve had the best of both worlds. Of course, I also felt like I gave up a dream making that kind of decision but I’m young now and concert dance and working with Cedar Lake is something that I can do now, while my body is ready and still willing.

How easy is it to switch between different genres?

It is not easy at all especially because your mind has to go to a completely different place depending on what you’re doing. With concert dance, you have more time to learn and to develop the movement. For the commercial world, one hip has to move and hit that beat and your head has to shift in the opposite direction. And you have to pay attention to the fact that your face has to be beautiful! Your eyes have to speak for you. It’s almost like a Tyra smize [that's smiling with your eyes FYI]! These are the things you have to think about while you’re doing the bootie pop, you know?

Ebony is dancing with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet at venues across the country from 27 September. For venues and tour dates visit

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