We had the good fortune of connecting with Robert Gilmore and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Robert, why did you pursue a creative career?
When I was a kid, my grandmother took me to see Alvin Ailey’s dancers at the Detroit Opera House. I was so amazed by the way they moved so effortlessly, and their passion was just incredibly apparent in their performance. It was such a refreshing feeling, and in that moment, I knew for a fact that I wanted to be a dancer and I was going to make that happen no matter what.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In the first three years of teaching dance to kids and teens, I learned that I have near-endless well of patience. I’ve always loved to watch the progression of my students from shy and unaware of their potential to being fully comfortable and 100% owning their talent. I felt like I could do more, like my calling was to expand my instructing to a wider audience. I started my dance company, A1 Limitless, in January of 2015 in hopes of finding dancers and individuals who were passionate about building their craft. Unlike a lot of dance companies in my city, I target dancers whose potential or talent has been overlooked. I target dancers who I feel can make an impact if they’re given a shot to showcase their skills. It hasn’t been an easy journey by a long shot. I’ve lost dancers due to trivial personal disputes among them, some felt they couldn’t keep up, and others that just left without giving any notice. It left me really discouraged and for a while, I contemplated giving up on my passion for dance and teaching. The one thing that kept me from completely giving up on myself and my dream was me constantly reminding myself of the lives I have touched over the years. It also helps that I surround myself with friends that challenge me and don’t allow me to give in to my insecurities.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The downtown Detroit scene is a really great place to start. The views from the buildings surrounding the Detroit River are absolutely breathtaking. I highly suggest grabbing a bite from any of the restaurants in that downtown area and taking a stroll on our Detroit Riverwalk. I also highly suggest visiting the Royal Oak area. There is a great selection of restaurants on the Main St strip, and if you’re a socialite, it’s a really great place to meet people. I had the pleasure of eating at Bar Louie recently, and I ordered the Gastroburger. Definitely will be having that the next time I visit!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Lena Pernell-Tucker, the President & Executive Director of an organization called Real Life. My Music., deserves a boatload of credit in my journey. She hired me as a dance instructor back in 2012 and although I had already been teaching classes at the time, I had never taught at a school before. Teaching kids of any age requires a level of patience and understanding that isn’t generally expected for teaching adults. I learned how to motivate without discouraging them, and I still apply those skills in my studio classes to this very day. So, I thank her from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime, and for creating a space for me to cultivate the passion for teaching that I now have.

Instagram: @robbie_dababy

Image Credits
KingA Productions Raw Artists Detroit

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