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Jemel McWilliams and What It Takes to Get on Top in Today’s World

As the daily world changes, there is an inevitable domino effect that leads to multiple industries having to change as well. One of the industries that is getting hit hard with these transformations is the music industry. As you have seen, there are major modified protocols to the annual award shows that you love the most, the most recent being the Video Music Awards (VMAs). They did a mix of virtual and studio performances, but who does that really affect? Bold Life’s Zayna Allen sat down with Emmy-nominated choreographer Jemel McWilliams to discuss how he has been adjusting to the new and possibly improved music industry.

Jemel McWilliams on working hard for what you want

Getting an Emmy nomination for outstanding choreography does not come without hard work, determination and an unconditional passion for what you do. McWilliams was surprised, yet honored, to receive all the nominations that are coming his way. But it takes more than just being a talented dancer to make these routines so special. According to McWilliams, a huge part in all of his routines is pushing for inclusivity and making sure there are faces that you might not have seen before. Inspiration doesn’t only come from the culture that surrounds us, but also the people around us.

Starting from the bottom

McWilliams did not become an award-winning choreographer overnight; it took years of working his way up the ranks. He started out like most of us do, chasing his dream and starting at the bottom. From being a dancer to second assistant choreographer to first assistant choreographer and so on, he made sure to give his all to each and every job. Treating your entry-level position with the same importance as your all-time dream job goes a long way. Trusting the process, himself and all the hard work he has done over the last 10 years led to all of it paying off in the end.

For more on inclusion in the industry, check out this video.

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