top of page

The Feature of the Week: Latik Devine Jefferson

Updated: Jul 18, 2022

"I don't know what made me gravitate toward it, but it was something that I couldn't stop doing," said Latik Devine Jefferson.

Dance is a form of art that is expressed through body movement. Some people dance for fun while others dance to live, just like Jefferson.




Jefferson is a Brooklyn native who attended Gramercy Arts High school in Union Square, NY. He grew up in the projects and used dancing as his outlet for an escape. At Gramercy, he choreographed group and solo pieces for school concerts. After high school, Jefferson attended the University of the Arts in Pennsylvania. While studying under those who learned from the masters of dance, he fully immersed himself in his craft.

During his training, he fell more in love with the art allowing his talent to speak for itself. Jefferson studied the different forms of dance including, hip-hop, modern, whacking, ballet, house, and more. He took on dance full-time while preparing for the entertainment industry. He decided that dance was no longer just for him but for something much bigger than him.

"I always wanted to be the outlet and inspiration where people can see that no matter your upbringing or where you were born and raised you were destined for greatness; just follow your dreams,” said Jefferson.

After graduating from UOA with his BFA, Jefferson danced on Celebrity Cruises, but after his arrival home, the Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic began. In 2020, COVID-19 put the world at a complete halt, but social media grew to spark a new stream of entertainment.

Jefferson contemplated his next career move. After a friend had sent him a flyer to audition for the NFL Eagles cheerleading team, he decided to take on the new opportunity.

Credit: Latik D. Jefferson
Latik Devine Jefferson

“I got accepted to the team the day of my birthday. It wasn’t until a few minutes after where I wondered, ‘Wait there are no Black boys on the team,’ and ‘Has there ever been Black boys on the team…I just made history,” said Jefferson.

Jefferson was officially the first African American male cheerleader on the NFL Eagles team. Jefferson’s history-making was only the start of his reign.

With the entertainment and dance industry being female-dominated, social media began to challenge this stigma. Male social media influencers and content creators, begin to sprout across social media platforms. African American male artists began to use social media as a platform to showcase their talents.

During Jefferson's upbringing, social media influencers were not as common as they are today. There weren't many male figures to be role models for Jefferson in the entertainment industry.

"Even my mom, I don't think it was something that she understood. I was growing up and I was dancing. I remember her asking me how many boys were in my dance class... My mom was fearful of the scrutiny of people teasing me and bullying me because I loved to dance," said Jefferson.

Even with his mom's wonders, this didn't stop her from being Jefferson's number one supporter. She came to dance concerts and supported him on his journey through every step.

In 2020, Social media begin to see more male artists from behind-the-scenes. African American male choreographers such as Sean Bankhead and JaQuel Knight took social media by storm with their choreography. Influences and users used the challenge as entertainment and started a trend for dance challenges.

According to a study done at the Pew Research center, 90 percent of U.S adults say the internet has been essential to them during the coronavirus outbreak. Social media platforms such as Tik Tok, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, and more became a daily use of adults.

For months the top two trending dances on social media were 'Body' by Megan Thee Stallion choreographed by JaQuel Knight, and 'Up' by Cardi B by Sean Bankhead. With over 1 million videos on Tik Tok to Cardi B’s 'Up', Jefferson had no interest in taking part in the social media fun. Until one day he decided to learn the 'Up' choreography.

During his lunch break, in his Walmart uniform, Jefferson recorded the dance and posted it on social media. He soon went viral and receive an abundance of love on social media. With over 165k likes and 11k shares on Tik Tok, people began to see Jefferson's talent.

“It only took this one dance for it to blow up the way that it did and then it went from there. This is what I wanted, people to see the hard work,” said Jefferson. He went on to say, “When I’m dancing I feel like this is what I was brought to earth to do, to dance and inspire others.”

After his Up challenge went viral, Jefferson gained thousands of followers and had the opportunity to dance for Hip-hop artist/ rapper, Lil' Kim. On his continuous journey as an African-American male artist, Jefferson has become a trailblazer for the Black community. His accomplishments seek to inspire other young male artists and young males who aspire to dance.

"This is what I do it for. I do it for you guys to know that it's possible. much as it seems like it's about me; the likes, the shares, the history-making; it's really to get you guys to see that you too are next. If you put in the work, really have the passion, and want to go for it; everything is possible," said Jefferson.

25 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page