MANILA, Philippines – French dancer and choreographer Yanis Marshall started out as a YouTube sensation, well known for his fierce, sharp moves (in heels, too!) set to today's biggest pop hits. Now, he's in Manila to meet and perform for his fans.
In 2014, Yanis appeared as a finalist in Britain’s Got Talent along with colleagues Arnaud and Mehdi. Although he did not win, his talent was most definitely recognized, and he has since been traveling around the world to promote his craft.
Take a look at him and his friends in action here:
In an interview with reporters for a press conference for the dance show Make Me Sweat… Again Tuesday night June 23, Yanis shared he was thrilled to know he had quite a fan base in the Philippines.
“I know it’s one of the first countries that really like supported [me], made my videos on YouTube go viral really well. I’m very happy about that. I think I have been having so many messages for like 4 years now, ‘We love you in the Philippines, please come here,’” he said.
A video posted by Alexa Villano (@alexavillano) on Jun 23, 2015 at 9:02am PDT
Yanis, a contemporary dancer, went to New York at 19 and found himself thinking of doing something different after a dance class he took, where some of his co-dancers were wearing heels.
Photo by Alexa Villano/Rappler
“I realized I was meant to do something else. I want to have more freedom in my dance, more sexuality, more that kind of way. I just felt really good in that [dance] class. I came back to France realizing we don’t have that. The heels came because up at some point because I felt I was good at everything but I was not great…so the heels is now my kind of thing…the speciality, it became that,” he said.
“So now basically now when I don’t dance with my heels, people are like what the – why are you not wearing heels? So basically I have to wear them all the time that’s the surprise,” he laughed.
And given today's changing trends in dance, Yanis said that he's still sticking to his own style. “I don’t keep myself updated with the trends, I try to make the trend. It’s like fashion if you follow the trend then you are not doing it well.”
A video posted by Alexa Villano (@alexavillano) on Jun 23, 2015 at 3:09am PDT
When asked if he feels powerful dancing in heels, Yanis said: “I wouldn’t say powerful, I love dancing without heels too but once I put on a pair of heels , I’m confident, like different… because once I have them on... I have to kill it. You don’t have an in-between; it’s either you kill it or you fall. It definitely brings the confidence out of me. But the power, I don’t need heels, it’s in my dance,” he said smiling.
Speaking of power and strength, Yani, who is out and proud, also said he was honored to be a role model to many in the LGBT community.
“That’s the best. To be representing gays is the best. I am gay, I’ve always been. I never hide it. I was never in the closet, very proud of it. I’m just me... I’m mostly proud when I’m in countries where they have kids – little boys running to me begging for a picture. And I could see in their eyes that one-minute moment – it just says everything, It’s like a thank you, I could see the kid in me,” he said.
A video posted by Alexa Villano (@alexavillano) on Jun 23, 2015 at 9:09am PDT
For aspiring dancers, Yanis had this to say:
A video posted by Alexa Villano (@alexavillano) on Jun 23, 2015 at 9:18am PDT
And for his Filipino fans, Yanis said: “Thank you for believing me and seeing something before other people. I would say that because it’s easy to like someone once the word is out there, once the name is out there. Thank you so much all for the support." – Rappler.com
Yanis Marshall will have a two-day dance workshop at SM Aura SMX Convention Center on June 24 and 25. For details contact G-Force at 0917-8-GFORCE