Aya on Helping Every Woman See She Too Is A Special Gyal
It’s no secret that the women of Pink Productions are big supporters of women who support and uplift one another. We believe that alone women are special but together we are phenomenal.
And, Aya can attest to that. Growing up shy, dance was how she expressed herself and it’s helped her to overcome so many of the obstacles life threw her way. Now, she uses her talent to empower other women to be confident through dance.
Read more below and find out who influenced her, and what she hopes to accomplish with Special Gyal.
How was your childhood? What experiences helped shape the woman you are today?
I was born on the Ivory Coast from a Lebanese/Ivorian mother and a French Father. But, I grew up in Parisian Suburbs. I always danced that's why at 6 my mother proposed me to start ballet.
I was a good student at school and in dance. I was a pretty shy girl, so dance was literally a way to express myself. That was my balance, the thing that kept me focused and rigorous in my life, specifically ballet.
I am so lucky that my mother put me in the conservatory, that was one of the best experiences in my life as a young girl. That's where I started to challenge myself thanks to my incredible teacher. My role models were my mother, my paternal grandmother and my ballet teacher. My mother influenced me through her values, her cultures, her beauty, her tenderness, and her intellect. My paternal grandmother, she got through World War II, she never stopped smiling to life, she traveled a lot, experienced a lot, and taught me that I should "live my dreams instead of dream my life.” And my ballet teacher, she taught me that in dance you never stop learning, you always have to surpass yourself and work hard for success.
What insecurities did you face growing up? How did you overcome them or how are you dealing with them today?
I have always been very thin and a lot of children laughed at me for that. Dance and age allowed me to overcome those insecurities. Now this is not a problem anymore because after being criticized for my skinny body all my life, I've been criticized for my tight body when I gained weight after pregnancies. I later understood that people will never be happy and will always have something to say about you. The problem is not you, the problem is in them because they feel low enough about themselves to judge people on a body shape.
What inspired you to dance?
Music. As a little girl music made me dance naturally. I can't remember what type of music because I think it was very eclectic. My parents listened to reggae, African music, pop music, rock, and more.
Tell us more about Special Gyal. What are some things you hope to accomplish with it?
Special Gyal is a concept that empowers women through dance. The concept started in 2013 as a dancehall formation only for women (as dancehall have specific moves and music for women).
In this formation we wanted to teach dancehall, the culture but also help women with self-confidence. We wanted to motivate and push the students to surpass themselves. This is in fact the result of my own experience through dance.
With my event Special Gyal Universe and my formation, I hope to help women all over the world, spreading a positive and powerful message through dance. Special Gyal will be a stepping stone for women, artists and businesswomen. Every girl is Special, now Empower Yourself!
What is are some things we can expect from you in the future?
There’s definitely a lot of new things coming with Special Gyal. More videos on my YouTube channel to share my dance and experiences. And a lot of dance events that I organize with my spouse. Stay tuned!
To learn more about what Aya is working on next follow her on Instagram, @aya_level and be sure to visit her website, specialgyal.com.