People and Places

From Shy Child to Cinderella – This Atlanta Native Is Living Her Dream

By Jean Hallman

Atlanta native Kiara “Kiki” Ely began studying dance at the age of six. She studied all styles of dance from ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, and African at Spelman College and Ballethnic Dance Academy.

Kiki’s parents kept her active in dance as a child. “They made sure I stayed in class and got the necessary training I needed because they saw how passionate I was about dance. I was very shy as a child so dance was my outlet to express myself without having to speak,” said Ely.

Staying busy is not a problem for Ely. In April she toured with musical artist Ciara in Australia and South Africa. In May Ely choreographed and led fans in a Dance Mob at the World of Coca-Cola celebrating the 125th Anniversary of Coca-Cola. In addition to other projects, workshops, and classes Kiki just completed shooting the ABC family movie A Cinderella Story that will air later this year and the major motion picture Footloose that hits theaters in October 2011.

When Ely is in town and available she can be seen teaching hip-hop workshops at Dance 411 Studios. Her classes are geared towards professional dancers but are also open to the community.

“Dance is so incredibly beneficial to the community because it allows dancers to come together and enjoy the freedom to express themselves through movement,” said Ely.

You can learn more about Kiki Ely by visiting her website at www.kikiely.com. To participate in one of her local workshops visit www.dance411studios.com or visit Dance 411 Studios located at 475 Moreland Avenue SE.

A striking pose, a striking image
Ely on a Rooftop | Photos by Samantha Abernathy