Laurieann Gibson – An All-Encompassing Artist
She has a do-it-all attitude that gives her an incredible ability to make a name for herself in the hip-hop world. She is Laurieann Gibson. As hip-hop invades the studio, stage, screen and streets, the world is here to watch. She is everything: choreographer – teacher – dancer – singer – actor – designer – model. But most importantly, Laurieann is setting her gift free and watching it soar.
When she moved from Toronto to New York at the age of 17 to train at Alvin Ailey, Gibson encountered the intensity of Dunham, Horton and Graham techniques. Perhaps it has been this technical background that has set her apart from other commercial dance choreographers and reserved a place for her in the future of hip-hop.
Yet as Gibson realized she no longer wanted to do modern dance, opportunities elsewhere began to emerge. In 1993, she landed a gig as a Fly Girl on In Living Color with Jennifer Lopez, and soon after went on tour as a dancer with Mary J. Blige. Her connection and talent must have been evident, as she was asked to choreograph for the then rising star Blige and continued to do so for albums and tours to come.
That was only the beginning of her long list of choreographic contributions. With over three-dozen music videos and television shows to her name, her credits include some of the biggest names in the music industry – P. Diddy, Alicia Keys, Brandy, Usher, Mario, Clay Aiken and Hilary Duff. Her style of teaching and choreographing has been seen all over the country. She remains involved with Broadway Dance Center’s The Pulse, a dance workshop tour of which Gibson is a faculty highlight.
During the influx of dance-related movies in the past few years, Gibson served not only as choreographer for 2003’s hit Honey, starring Jessica Alba, but also played a role in the film. The movie’s story is similar to her own – a dancer with big dreams and the path that leads her to the top.
After Honey, Gibson continued to find herself in front of the camera. For three seasons of Diddy’s reality series Making the Band, Gibson worked as on-air choreographer for the show’s contestants. Only after a highly publicized on screen blowout between Diddy and Gibson, involving rumors of thrown chairs, did Gibson say “no more.”
One may wonder if that falling out was perhaps meant to be. Since then, Gibson has been able to delve into even more projects and create a more prominent name for herself. She is becoming the star. And now, with a singing career on the rise (her first single “Addictive” came out earlier this year) and an interest in fashion speeding off, the words “dream big” ring true.
Most recently, Gibson became the face of Frontline, Capezio’s line of hip-hop clothing and footwear. The products – a blend of comfort and style, girly with an urban touch – are reminiscent of the young, fresh and fun spirit that Gibson embodies.
At this rate, it appears as though Gibson’s resume will be never ending. Who knows what she will do tomorrow or where she will show her face. But with the drive she has, and the talent to match, it’s no wonder people are beginning to realize Gibson is “addictive.”
Laura Di Orio