Akay, real name Akana Gerry, is a self-taught dance instructor who has been dancing for 12 years and has inspired tens of thousands to dance.

The Thornton Heath local has appeared in music videos for well respected Afro beat stars Eugy and Mr Eazi and has a huge Instagram following of 70,000 and counting. 

Akay specialises in what she calls afro-fusion which is afro beats combined with street dance. 

The 22-year-old teaches this through online dance tutorials and has her own dance classes.

She said:   “I am half Nigerian and half Jamaican. Dance is a massive part of both cultures. I also have family members who are dancers so it’s something that I have been exposed to from a young age. 

“The fact that I do something that I love and have a passion for keeps me very motivated. I can help people learn dance and I find that extremely rewarding.

“Being creative and learning new things is also a must when dancing. I look at other dancers such as Sophia Official and Benny Tantu for inspiration. 

“They are also afrobeat dancers and are very talented. When it comes to celebrities, Chris Brown and Ciara are my favourites. They move so effortlessly you can tell that they are naturals.

“What I find most challenging about being a dancer is bookings. I do this by myself as I don’t have a manager so sometimes bookings can be a bit overwhelming but it’s something that I deal with.

“Moreover, one of the most important things to me and a reason why I dance is to be a good role model for the youth and to my community. A lot of young people come to my classes. I aim to inspire them by helping them to reach their dance goals. It’s something extra for them to do besides school/college. I also make sure that my dancing is appropriate.

“In the future I will have my own dance studio where I will teach people different dance styles such as dancehall, salsa, and afro fusion. I aim to help people to unleash their inner dance powers and become the best that they can be! My advice to anyone looking to learn dance would be to find your own style and be comfortable with it!”

INSTAGRAM a.kay_xx