Black Music Month Power Player: Fatima Robinson, the Choreographer

How the mastermind behind the routines of pop phenoms like the Black Eyed Peas balances success, rumors and family first

Fatima Robinson with Black Eyed Peas member apl.de.ap

Robinson with Black Eyed Peas member apl.de.ap

What is your process like when creating a routine for an artist or show?

Music is what moves me; but each situation is different. Sometimes I’m given a treatment that requires a certain style of dance and other times I might just be given the music. For the most part I follow my instincts.

Do you ever get bored helping others get their groove on?

Not really, because every week is something different for me. This week I’m in Central Park; next week I’m in Florence, Italy for a fashion show; the next week I’m in Paris putting together a show for 80,000 people; and then to Chicago for a TV show. How can you not love that?

What advice do you have for dancers who want to follow in your footsteps?

Learn your craft and be prepared. Even during my downtime I kept busywith so many things from taking dancing, acting and directing classes so when I got a call for a project I was ready.

How important is it to reinvent yourself?

Very important… As long as you remember to stay true to [yourself] while doing so.

As a celebrity in your own right, how do you combat rumors like the recent one that you and rapper/actor Common were dating?

I don’t Tweet or Facebook. I don’t want the attention, so the attention doesn’t come to me. Common and I are just friends and I went to see him in concert and some Silly Willy thought it would be a great story [to say we’re a couple]. We laughed about it and ’til this day we [jokingly] call each other boyfriend and girlfriend.

How do you define success?

Happiness. I want to be happy. If a job told me I had to be away from my family for a long time then I would gracefully bow out. My family is very important to me.

When you’ve decided to chuck your dancing shoes, how do you wish to be remembered?

For my work and someone who took care of business at all times.

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