Chase your dreams, no matter how big they are.
That is 26-year-old choreographer, dancer and tenor singer Deion Muse’s advice to young people.
As a child, the South Boston native dreamt of becoming a professional dancer. That dream became a reality, but he took it a few steps further.
Now, Muse choreographs, dances and sings in productions at The Prizery and teaches dance at a summer dance intensive in Manhattan, New York, and local dance studio Essence of Dance Movement.
“Dreams really do come true. You can never give up,” Muse said. “It’s not about how hard it is, it’s about how hard you work for it. I have put in the blood, sweat and tears, and I have never stopped. I want everyone to know that they can do it, too.”
Muse has worked his way up from cast member in “Oklahoma” at The Prizery in 2018 to dance captain for “Mary Poppins” and “Mamma Mia!” in 2019 to his current role as choreographer for the upcoming productions “Junie B. Jones, Jr.: The Musical” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
“Deion is a natural dancer. He has grown so much in the last years with his dance ability and his work as a choreographer,” said The Prizery’s artistic director Chris Jones. “The Prizery is excited to have him in this important role for our Summer Theatre 2020.”
As lead choreographer, Muse is in charge of overseeing the auditions for all the dancers in “Junie B. Jones, Jr.: The Musical” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
At the same time, Muse still has a chance to show off talents on stage as an ensemble dancer in the upcoming production of “Footloose.”
Artistic self-expression is Muse’s passion.
“If I could perform every day, I would,” Muse said. “I love how the audience reacts. I get a thrill out of getting the audience engaged.”
Muse jokes that he has been dancing since he first started walking. As a child, he watched music videos of Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Ciara and Chris Brown, and would picture himself on stage dancing with them. He would rewind the videos, learn the dance moves, and replay the videos and try to dance along with the professionals. Michael Jackson’s 1982 sensation “Thriller” was one of the first dances Muse learned and one of his favorites.
“When I was younger, I never thought that I would be the one making up the dances,” Muse said. But Muse started teaching dance at Stephanie Stephens’ Essence of Dance Movement and, as a result, fell in love with choreography.
Muse will bring his talent for teaching dance to New York this summer, as assistant stage director for the dance intensive Liberate Artists Phoenix Fire.
Phoenix Fire does an in-house dance convention in South Boston in February, and the first year they came to town, they offered Muse an apprenticeship with them. Muse also has traveled to Los Angeles with Liberate Artists Phoenix Fire.
“I like learning from other choreographers,” Muse said. “Going to New York and LA (with Liberate Artists) has sparked a love of travel for me. My next goal is to try to book a job on a cruise line.”
No matter where he goes, Muse plans to bring what he learns back to his hometown, and inspire young people how to become professional dancers, as well. Muse recently has started his own dance company, Muse Works LLC, and plans to hire more dance instructors.
Training the next generation of dancers, and creating a platform to help those dancers gain national recognition, is one of Muse’s goals. From his experience, the stage of The Prizery is an ideal venue to bring national attention to local actors and dancers.
“People come from all over to see our productions. They come from New Jersey. They come from New York,” Muse said.
Muse put no geographical or personal limitations on his artistic journey, and he believes that has been the key to his success.
His childhood dream of becoming a professional dancer has turned into an adulthood dream of becoming a world-renowned choreographer.
For Muse, making that dream a reality is where the “3 D’s” come in — “discipline, dedication and determination.”