When I was younger, I used to dance but nothing like you! You are honestly so dope. The way you pop, lock and do all types of stuff with your body is insane (laughs). When did you start dancing & what inspired you to post videos of your gift on social media?
(Laughs) Thank you so much! I started dancing in 2010. It was towards the end of my first year in Senior High School. Believe it or not, I had no idea how to dance when I was younger. I couldn’t even do the most basic of dance moves! Then I watched Step Up 2 during the Christmas break in 2009 and I became obsessed. I went back to school the following term determined to learn how to do it. Long story short, I pestered one of the seniors at school to teach me how to dance, a few months later I performed with some of my friends in school, then again at a church camp, and I’ve been doing it ever since. The style I dance in now and my videos being posted on social media began in 2014. I came to Canada for school in January of that year and I spent most of the first semester indoors watching YouTube videos and that was where I got to know what Animation was. I loved how it felt like every beat was hit and you could almost see the music through the dancing. I began to learn more and pick up that style. In February of that year, I was randomly asked if I had anything I could do for a talent show to gain my (university) residence points for something that was going on. So I volunteered to perform and they loved it, I won the show, and later that night I felt it impressed on my heart to upload it onto YouTube – so I did. Initially, my primary aim was to bring more attention to the Christian music I use, to show people that Christian music is not inferior. I still do that, but as time has passed it has expanded to also include a desire to inspire people and show them that God has a purpose and a plan for all of us (Jeremiah 29:11). I want people to be inspired to follow Jesus and walk in that purpose. Sorry for the long answer – I talk a lot! (Laughs)
I didn’t even know what to expect when I first watched your videos, but I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised. In your bio, on twitter you say that you are an unashamed believer. To those who don’t know your story and what you have been through in your personal life, leading up to you establishing, almost a ministry through dance how Jesus Christ, the Lord and Our saviour helped you during your time of difficulty and strife? And how your faith enabled you to pursue dance so openly and freely?
(Smiles) Thanks again. I do try to aim to shock people when they see me perform – hopefully in a good way! (Laughs) With regards to my faith influencing my dance, that just came naturally. Jesus has been with me all through my life, from my dad dying when I was a child right through to me coming to a new country where I knew no one for school. Even me knowing how to dance comes from Him. He’s been pivotal in every part of my life, even when I did not acknowledge Him. I really began to build an actual relationship with Jesus in 2010, not long after I started dancing. And because He is my everything, it’s natural for His influence to be seen in all I do – including dance. For example, I dance primarily to Christian music to give people an alternative, but then that comes naturally because almost all the music I listen to is explicitly Christian. That’s one of the things I strongly believe – that when we are fully surrendered to Jesus, we become reflections of Him in every part of our lives. So it’s not really difficult for me to openly profess my love for Him and His purpose in my dance because it just naturally flows out of me. Plus, in fairness, He did die for me, even before I knew Him – the least I can do is live for Him! (Laughs)
You’re right, dance really does have a way of unifying everybody. We’re all able to appreciate the movement. It’s almost like its own language! I love music, and dancing allows me to connect even more with the music I love. However the main thing that motivates me and why I love dancing is because of the freedom and joy it gives me. I believe this is something that comes with doing the thing you were meant to do, and this is why I hope to inspire people to find and go after their purpose.
I know dance is all about feeling, and channelling those feelings into movement. How do you pick and choose what song to dance too? And what is your favourite song that you have ever done choreography too?
(Smiles) I haven’t really thought about that. I think it mainly has to do with whether or not I connect with the song. Plus, I also do like to pick beats with a lot of different intricacies that my dancing can bring out. A lot of it too is instinctive, you just know when you hear the right song. It’s hard to pick a favorite! I love all the songs I dance to. One of my favorite songs is ‘Therapy Session’ by NF so as such, I love dancing to it. He’s probably my favorite rapper. ‘Outro’ too is good, off of the album he’s releasing this year. I loved dancing to that – so yeah I’ll probably call that my favorite. And I should shamelessly plug in that my most recent video on my channel is a dance video to Outro!
I love when people share their gifts and their talents, and for anybody who has watched your videos and has followed your journey this far, what would you say to them on Real Talk With Ree, right now?
There’s a lot I would want to say to those who have followed me so far,! (Laughs) But a quick summary of that is basically thank you. It means a lot whenever people share, give critique and support my work. That just continues to add to my inspiration and motivation and pushes me to improve. I will always be grateful for that.
What is next for you and how can we stay connected?
With regards to what is next, definitely more videos for social media. I have not been consistent enough with that but now that I’ve graduated from university I am definitely going to put even more into my craft. They should expect a lot of great things, God willing. Staying connected with me is pretty simple – @davidntannan on every social media platform and for my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcKfXaMcSmMWPwKmLRNNR3Q
Check out David’s latest video post: