As a dancer, they say it’s hard to shy away from your first love, and that the passion and urge to tell a story with your body never really goes away.
For graduate student, Akievia Hickman, her time with Florida A&M Cheer and the Mahogany Dance Theatre was just the tip of her dancing iceberg. Now as an inactive member of both, Hickman runs her own dance company while also working towards her master’sdegree in business administration.
Killer Heels is a dance class that incorporates diverse styles of dance such as hip hop, lyrical, jazz and even sexy, into routines that are to be performed in high heels. The idea came to Hickman from her experience with Mahogany, and her ability to become a forerunner within the company.
“With Mahogany, everything is very professional, and I knew I had to work for it,” Hickman said. “ I worked hard to get picked for shows and it paidoff. That’swhen people started saying I should teach classes.”
Akievia hosted her first Killer Heels class on July 12, 2019, and the class has been going strong ever since. Within her classes, Hickman likes to incorporate goals for her students to work towards in each session. She designed the flow of the class to better suit her students and how they learn so that they are able to gain and also reach their goals. Sophomore biology pre-med major, Morgan Kelley, says she saw improvements just after her second class.
“The class helps me get out of my comfort zone and enjoy myself,” Kelley said. “ The routines are always fun and creative.”
Values that Hickman holdsnear and dear to her company are perseverance and professionalism, with an emphasis on perseverance, she loves to see her students push through their challenges. She also likes to think of Killer Heels, as an outlet that teaches survival skills that her students can apply to situations outside of class. As a grad student, Hickman knows first hand about pushing yourself and says managing a business on top of her other responsibilities can be challenging.
“It’s difficult, but I think what gets me through it, is the feedback I get from my students,” Hickman said. “The energy in the room and the smiles that I see when I’m teaching assures me that I am doing my job, and influences me to keep going.”
Although Hickman’sclass is not the only one in the Tallahassee area, she credits Killer Heels as being one of the only classes offering technique within the teaching. FAMU alumna and former cheer captain, Courtney Smith, likes that the heels class is a push, and says the class’sdance style is unique.
“No one uses this dance style, Akievia knows how to come up with unique ways to make dances flow,” Smith said. “I’ve seen her choreography progress so much since she started, I can tell she’s really trying to build her brand.”
When in creative mode, Hickman often draws inspiration from choreographers that she looks up to like Aliya Janelle and Kiira Harper.
Hickman’s plans for Killer Heels exceed for beyond Tallahassee’s borders. She hopes to one day see her brand in major cities like Atlanta, Houston, and L.A. In addition to being a professional dancer, Hickman would also like to partake in a career as a marketing manager and relies on Killer Heels to help establish her credibility.
For now, Hickman says she definitely seesher numbers expanding locally and will continue to host the class every Tuesday from 8-10 p.m. at the iConquer Fitness Center, on N. Monroe. To find out more information on Killer Heels, send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org