Check our interview with one of Beyonce’s “Homecoming” talented dancers, Kendra “K.O” Oyesanya.
Kendra has been a dancing extraordinaire in the industry for over 10+ years. She has not only performed with the Queen Bey, but also P. Diddy, Chris Brown, J Balvin, Paul McCartney, Neyo, and more.
You may have also recognized Kendra from the viral video of a family dancing in themed to the new movie Us. Watch the video here! It received over a two million views on Youtube alone. She choreographed and edited the video herself.
Kendra also stars in the new series Step Up: High Water where she plays “Poppy Martinez”, a young spitfire dancer who takes no from no one. Season two is currently on Youtube TV.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Fun, creative, strong.
Do you have a role model?
Yes, my parents are my role models. They worked so hard to provide a good life for me and inspire me in so many ways. They are the reason I do what I do. I lost my dad a year ago but his spirit keeps me going every day.
How is a typical day in your life?
My typical day includes working out, choreographing or taking a dance class, auditioning, and working on my goals.
How did you get started into dancing?
I’ve always loved to dance but never had formal dance training. A lot of my early dance experience started in high school doing talent shows and being the captain of the step team. I also danced at church and was apart of a lot of special performances.
How did you get involved in acting?
In 2017, I told myself I wanted to start taking acting classes. I signed up early in the year but only got to train for three weeks before I had to leave class due to a family emergency. Two months later I had my first acting audition and booked the role of Poppy in the Lionsgate scripted series “Step Up High-water”.
What was your first big project as a dancer?
My first big project as a dancer was booking a music video for Paul McCartney ft. Michael Jackson, “Say Say Say” . It was my first real music video booking as a dancer and just happened to be for two legendary artists.
Did you have dancing classes or were you self taught?
I am a self taught dancer and didn’t grow up in dance class all my life. I took a few dance classes before moving to Los Angeles but in Oklahoma (where I’m from) I didn’t have a lot of options for styles I wanted to train in like Hip hop or Jazz funk. When I moved to Los Angeles in 2013, that’s when I started training.
Tell us your experience in working with Beyonce?
Working with Beyonce was an unforgettable experience. It was definitely a process but helped me see how much work it really takes to be a successful artist.
Now tell us about your experience in working on set with big names P.Diddy, Chris Brown, J Balvin, Paul McCartney and Neyo?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have a really nice experience with all the big named artist I’ve worked with. They were all super cool and down to earth.
Can we talk about your amazing viral video you made for “Us?” What inspired you? How were you involved with the video?
I was inspired by the trailer. We actually filmed the video before the movie came out so we based the concept on the trailer alone. I was very intrigued with Jordan Peele’s storyline that I couldn’t resist! I Called my friend to tell him my ideas, we then found some kids and workshopped on the choreography.
What are some key tips you’ve learned from other artists and
I’ve learned to be a professional and smart dancer. When you work with different artist you’re expected to know what you’re doing at all times and if something goes wrong you have to adapt quickly. So many things can go wrong on stage or on set. Wardrobe malfunctions, artist not in the right spot, etc. No matter what you always keep dancing and work around it smartly where no one could tell that there was ever a mishap.
Now on the acting side, tell us about your new season of “Step Up: High Water”, and your role as Poppy Martinez?
This season the students will be prepping for the performance of a lifetime, as they get ready to take the stage on ‘Sage’s’ (NE-YO) comeback tour. Drama surrounds the High Water students and teachers in the weeks before opening night. The second season will feature bigger dance battles mixed with new relationships and spotlights on family struggles. Poppy Martinez is All sass, soul, and talent. Poppy can hang with any dancer out there, but romance isn’t as simple as crushing it out on stage. Not only that, Poppy can’t possibly be ready for the painful reality that sometimes the world won’t make it easy for a woman like her to be on top.
Who is your favorite actor/actress?
My favorite actress is Viola Davis. I love her work and think she is a phenomenal actress and woman.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?
I see myself being a household name and being a big actress and director.
What do you think of Social Media in the Entertainment business? Do you consider it useful?
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with social media. I think social media is very useful for giving people a platform and putting themselves out there for jobs and sponsorships. Social media is now your virtual resume and has helped many artist get discovered.
Best advice you ever gave?
Do what you want to do. The world is going to talk about you whether you’re doing good or bad so you might as well do what makes you happy.
What’s your favorite music?
My favorite music is hip hop, r&b, and gospel.
What would be your dream role and why?
My dream role would be a comedy. I admire women like Tiffany Haddish who get to play fun and funny roles. I would love to do that one day.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Happiness is a feeling of fulfillment. That feeling you feel when you’re satisfied with life, smiling and feeling good. Happiness is a choice.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Michael Jackson because in my opinion he is the greatest artist/entertainer in the world. I would have loved to just talk to him and get advice about the entertainment business.
What is your favorite song to belt out for karaoke?
My favorite karaoke song is Dream Girls “It’s all Over” from the Dream Girls soundtrack. I sing it every time at karaoke spots. When I sing Jennifer Hudsons parts the crowd always goes wild.
3 things you can’t leave home without?
My cellphone, lip gloss, and earrings
What would be a deal breaker on a first date for you?
Deal breakers on the first date would be bad hygiene.
What is your favorite healthy food? Do you keep a strict diet for performances?
I love avocados! I have somewhat of a strict diet. I try not to eat a lot of junk food, breads, and pastas even though I love them!
What is your favorite cheat meal?
Pasta or sushi.
Idea of a perfect Sunday Funday?
A nice brunch with mimosas with family and friends.
What advice would you give to aspiring dancers or actors?
Go after everything you want and believe in yourself. It sounds simple but it’s very key to making it in this industry. Once you believe in yourself and just go after your dreams you leave behind all the self doubt that was holding you back.
Where our viewers find you on social media?
Favorite Quote: Sky is the limit
Favorite Holiday Destination: Oklahoma City with my family
Favorite Artist: Ciara
Favorite Sports Team: Oklahoma City Thunder
Favorite Movie: The Five Heartbeats