Cajai Fellows Johnson
“Dance saves.” Small wonder we, whose purpose is to save the world’s skin, fell in love with this powerful — and empowering — multitalented artist!
Cajai Fellows Johnson formally started performing on stage at 9 years old and grew up falling in love with the art form of dance. When your mother is the director of dance for a state university, you grow up with a deeply rooted appreciation for the dance world. She continues to immerse herself in all forms of art and shares how dance has become her career, her therapy, her passion.
Follow Cajai for inspired training, beautiful art, and serious motivation!
How long have you been a professional dancer?
I started working professionally in musical theater when I was 9 and specifically as a dancer when I was 22.
Why do you do it?
For me, dance saves. I mean that in a very literal sense. There is something about moving to music, whether I am performing at Lincoln Center or just grooving at a concert with friends, that makes everything ok. It’s a career, it’s therapy and it’s my passion.
How did you get started?
My mother is the director of dance at Central Connecticut State University for more than 40 years. So I grew up in the dance world.
What made you interested in dancing?
As I mentioned above, I grew up in dance and performance. So I would watch these incredible humans rehearse and perform and I so attracted to the lifestyle and community. I knew I wanted to be as physically beautiful as them but more importantly I wanted to inspire young dancers the way those dancers inspired me.
How do you train for it?
So. Many. Ways. Haha. Maintaining a physically fit body so you are ready to perform at a moment’s notice, is a full time job. I still take as many dance classes as I can get my hands on, sometimes up to 3 a day, which is including but not limited to ballet, jazz, and theater. I also do yoga which, as I get older, am finding is hugely important to keep my body safe and feeling good. A lot of my close friends are fitness instructors so sometimes I drop into their classes.
I also expose myself to as much to the art world as possible. I go see shows. I collaborate with fellow artists. Things like that.
What are your favorite VMV products and why do you like using them?
I love love love the Illuminants+ Cream. I deal with a lot of dryness and uneven skin tone and this moisturizer balances and hydrates making your skin look like its actually glowing.
Eye cream is also super important and VMV has a great one called Re-Everything Eye Serum.
What was your most memorable moment dancing?
Recently, it was a specific moment during one of my first times on the Metropolitan Opera stage. There was a moment in the show when I was front and center, on my own, and had to do a double pirouette (a turn) into a grand jeté (a jump), in a very heavy dress and wig, I might add, and I remember nailing it! I felt such genuine happiness looking out into this massive audience, on a stage I had always dreamed of performing on and thought, “This moment is worth all the literal blood, sweat and tears.”
You feel prettiest when….
When I leave a really awesome dance class or workout! I sweat a lot and am usually drenched but I almost always leave smiling and laughing.
How do you want to be known as?
I want to be a leader who empowers people to live out their passions. That might be as big as finishing a degree or the small stuff, like seeing your favorite band. I want people to look to me and believe they can also find happiness through hard work and compassion.
Do you have any tips for fans out there for fitness, skincare and/or training, etc?
It is important to get other people’s opinions, whether it is career advice or how to do your makeup, but always follow what is truest to yourself and what makes you happy as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. Everyone will always have an opinion. Take what makes sense to you and leave the rest behind.
What inspires your art?
At its core, humans inspire my art. When I paint or draw, I draw bodies. When I see someone else dancing with passion, it instantly makes me want to dance!
What’s your daily skin care regimen and/or Make up?
I keep it super simple. I use sunscreen on my face in the morning and mascara and a tinted, moisturizing lipstick. In the evening, I cleanse with something gentle and do an evening moisturizer!
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