The incredible dancer who took center stage with Usher at the Sept. 5 airing of NBC’s TODAY show is none other than Richmond-born Ladia Yates.
Yates, 23, is exploding as a professional dancer, having also recently worked with Janelle Monae, “Tye” Tribbett, and Missy Elliott.
Her brief battle with Usher on national television is only helping to spread her name as one of the nation’s hottest dancers.
Yates, who attended Kennedy High, has come a long way since she began dancing. She laughs when revealing she was inspired to dance while performing as mascot for the West County Spartans Youth Football and Cheer program. At age 16, her mother moved her to Memphis, where her dancing continued to flourish and where she earned the title, “Queen of Memphis.”
But her dance skills have recently escalated to an international stage. Watch Yates battle and defeat seven consecutive dancers at a recent competition in Paris.
Despite moving to Memphis, where she started and runs the dance program Lye Academy, Yates continues to give props to her West County roots during media interviews. In one recent interview, Yates said the Bay Area influenced her dance style’s swagg, delivery and finesse.
“I want to show people that no matter where you are from you can be great,” Yates told the Richmond Standard, adding, “Not everyone and everything out of Richmond is bad, lol.”
We wholeheartedly agree.
For a summary of Yates’ work, check out this “best of” video:
Crime | Oct 20, 2015
A 31-year-old Richmond woman was sentenced to 21 years in state prison Tuesday for fatally shooting a 16-year-old ex-boyfriend who …
Jobs | Jan 26, 2016
Starting Feb. 1, Chevron will begin accepting applications for Operator Trainee positions at the Richmond Refinery, the company announced today. …
Crime | Nov 18, 2015
The woman pictured is wanted by police in connection with the violent robbery of an El Cerrito High student on …
Crime | Jul 14, 2015
A man was killed and a 17-year-old critically injured after shots rang out at the Monterey Pines Apartments complex in …
Crime | Sep 6, 2016
The community is mourning the deaths of an 18-year-old and her unborn child following a shooting in San Pablo Monday …
Recent News | Feb 7, 2014
Although the US Postal Service says only a small percentage of packages end up lost or delayed at its national …