St. Pete’s finest: Shanelle Amor Freeman

St. Pete's Finest Shanelle Armor Freeman, dancer

BY MARLO SCOTT, Columnist

ST. PETERSBURG — The old adage, “those who can, do; those who can’t, teach” certainly does not apply to Shanelle Amor Freeman. If she’s not teaching dance, she’s doing it all over the State of Florida.

The St. Petersburg native began her classical dance training at John Hopkins Middle School for the Performing Arts at the age of 10 and later at The Academy of Ballet Arts. She is a graduate of the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School where she studied classical ballet and the Horton dance technique.

St. Pete's Finest Shanelle Armor FreemanWhile still in high school she won third place twice in the Omega Psi Phi Talent Hunt Competition and after graduating received a full dance scholarship to attend Florida Dance Theatre’s summer intensive dance program.

There she was asked by director/founder Carol Erkes to join Polk County’s only premiere professional contemporary ballet company in Lakeland and danced there for the 2009-10 season. While there, she had the chance to dance at the Historic Polk Theatre, Polk Museum of Art and the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce just to name a few.

She also received two dance scholarships for Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts summer intensive dance program, and was recently awarded a full dance scholarship at St. Petersburg College.

Not content with just performing, Freeman decided to teach others her craft. She jumped at the opportunity to teach and choreograph at The Academy of Florida Dance Theatre, The Studio Dance Company, The Royal Theatre, the Lakeland Housing Authority outreach programs and the list goes on and on.

Shanelle Armor FreemanFreeman has had the privilege to work with a number of notable choreographers including one of Beyonce’s choreographers Darrell Grand Moultrie and Ailey School graduate Freddie Dejesus. She’s performed at Six Flags Over Georgia with Team Illuminate, a traveling dance crew that was a finalist on America’s Got Talent; Busch Gardens Theme park, Wild 94.1’s The Last Damn Show, Wild Wheels Car and Bike Show and Wildsplash 2013-14 at Coachman Park.

Freeman recently choreographed and was the feature dancer for rising star Shyann Roberts on the BET Rap-It-Tour on the Clark Atlanta University campus in Atlanta. This tour is the largest event of its kind targeting historically black colleges and universities.

If that wasn’t enough excitement, she was a 2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleader finalist, and although she didn’t make the team this year she continues to prepare for other opportunities that will help propel her to the next level in her dance career.

This young entrepreneur doesn’t wait on the phone to ring; she goes out and secures her own future. She started a company called “Heels of Steel” that offers services for anyone that is interested in receiving tools and instructions to further their career in dance. She offers dance classes in styles that include jazz funk, hip-hop and a stiletto dance class for women to help enlighten, encourage, self-esteem and empower them through the art of dance.

The stiletto dance class will help each woman to learn how to exude confidence, learn about who they are as an individual while allowing them to feel secure in their own skin. Women of all colors, shapes and sizes are welcomed.

Shanelle Armor Freeman, dancerIn addition, the company offers private dance instruction, coaching for competition, artist development, choreography, mentorship for youth in the arts, bookings for events including birthday parties, weddings, and any other performances requested.

You can catch Freeman performing in the production of “Shadows of the Mind,” which is a dance production that will take place at John Hopkins Middle School Sat., May 24 at 7 p.m. and Sun., May 25 at 3 p.m. Tickets are on sale now, for more info please email shadowsofthemindinfo@gmail.com.

Freeman has a lot on her plate, but come Sunday morning, you can find her singing on the praise team at The Greater Purpose Christian Church where Pastor Christopher St. Julian Sr. presides. Her motto is: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

She would like to thank God, The Greater Purpose Christian Church, Cedric Doss Photography, Artistry of Makeup, Edgestone Group and Shyann Roberts, Nancy Smith at SPC, Holy Spirit Apparel, LLC, The Studio Dance Company, Hair-it-iz Salon, and of course, her beautiful, strong mother, family and friends that have nurtured and guided her throughout the years.

For more information on how to book Shanelle Amor Freeman or about Heels of Steel, contact her at shanelleamorbooking@gmail.com or 813-507-7250. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram and like her on Facebook. She also has a YouTube channel at Shanelle Amor.

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