Hawaii-native Nyah Malana is already killing it as a hip hop dancer at just 9 years old. She dances with immaBEAST, a major dance company founded by hip hop legend Willdabeast, and has an undeniably magnetic presence on stage. The young dancer has dreams of becoming a choreographer, and she's definitely well on her way-- she dances with passion, enthusiasm, and impressive execution. Check out our conversation with Nyah below, and get to know the skilled miniBISH!
How did you get into dance? What do you love about dancing?
When I was around 3 years old, I came across some dance videos on YouTube and I started to imitate the moves. Then, I would perform for my mom and dad and they decided to put me in dance class! I just love the way dancing makes me feel. I can express any feelings I have through dance.
Other than hip hop, have you tried any other styles of dance? What do you love about hip hop?
Yes, I have tried other styles like jazz, ballet, and contemporary. I try to take a class in these genres at least once a week because these styles are the foundation of dance and they help me learn to control my movement.
I love hip hop because there are also so many other styles within hip hop that are so different--I love the movement in all of these styles.
Who are some of your fave dancers? How do they inspire you?
There are too many amazing dancers to name them all. But my most favorites are the teachers that I have worked with personally and that have really taken their time to help me to grow and be a better dancer and person. They inspire me because they all have a different story of how they got to where they are and what they want to do in the future, and they never give up!
What’s your favorite thing about dancing with amazing groups like ImmaBEAST?
It's an honor to be on ImmaBEAST! The energy and connection we have as a team is AWESOME! I'm also thankful that ImmaBEAST has given me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and experience the dance community outside of my hometown.
"I just love the way dancing makes me feel. I can express any feelings I have through dance."
What are some of your goals as a dancer?
I would love to become a choreographer and travel the world to teach dance and even choreograph for movies!
What’s the hardest part about dancing?
When you are dancing in a class or a performance, there are so many things to focus on. You have to remember the choreography, execute it cleanly, dance it full out, perform it with facials, and feel the music. It gets tough to do all of that but I love the feeling when it all comes together!
What’s it like living in Hawaii? Is there anywhere else you’d like to live?
Hawaii has always been my home. I love having my family and friends near, I love the weather and the beaches, and I love the people here. I don't think there is anywhere else I'd rather live.
What are some of your fave songs to dance to?
I call my favorite songs to dance to "swaggy." They're the songs that have a good groove to them! I like to "swag out!"
What does miniBISH mean to you?
To me, miniBISH means "YASSS!!" That means you go for what you want and get it!
Photographer: Ja Tecson