by Clarence Thomas, Jr.
Macon strikes again! Just when one thinks that Middle Georgia's metro center is slowing down on producing another entertainment prodigy, along comes Destiny Wimpye.
Born in Columbus, Georgia but now residing in Los Angeles, the talented 13-year-old dance sensation is making her mark in the worlds of ballet and creative dance as a member of Debbie Allen's Dance Academy. She impressed Allen so much since joining her program as a 10-year-old, that Wimpye played the lead role of "Kara" in 2015 and 2016 in Allen's L.A. based holiday showcase "The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker". She even shared the stage with singing sensation Mariah Carey on ABC during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Wimpye's climb has been a decade in the making. It began with her convincing her mother Keisa Glover as a 3-year-old to let her dance while in daycare. Glover says her daughter showed much potential along the way which led to the two moving from Atlanta to L.A. eventually. Destiny entered Allen's Summer Intensive in 2013 and soon became a member of Allen’s Red Bird program for gifted dancers. In addition to the stage Wimpye has commercials and movies to her credit. She has appeared in print ads for Capezio and Nike. ABC Mouse, Macy's, Toyota, Discount Dance Supply and Activia have also used her to push their products on television. Wimpye can be seen on Netflix in the Janet Collins Story. This month she will appear in Dance Mogul Magazine in a full feature story and as the first teenage dancer to grace the publication's cover.
The mild manner youngster and her mom were recently home for the holidays visiting her grandmother Gloria Burnette of Macon. While here, she and her family were asked by Adopt-A-Role Model's founder and director Tina Dennard to hold court with the Middle Georgia Informer newspaper and girls from Adopt-A-Role Model and Dazzling Divas girls dance group. Wimpye excepted and facilitated a December 28 question and answer session conducted by Dennard’s granddaughters and A.A.R.M. members Amori and Krissiana Coney along with Angel and Cierra Davis of Dazzling Divas and SMART, INC at the historic Douglass Theatre.
Wimpye proved both impressive and insightful. She exhibited a maturity and poise not found in most glory bound 13 year olds as she blazed through a series of inquiries by the girls, audience members and media. When asked how she maintains an A average in school with all the dancing she does Wimpye attributed her successful balancing act to organization. Her advice to the girls as they experience success? "There will be people that are jealous but don’t let that stop you," said Wimpye. "The jealously of others doesn't stop me. I ignore it and keep going. If this is something that you really want to do, then keep pushing."
Some wanted to know how she handles a demanding schedule that sometimes takes her away from her family to New York and other locations across the country. Wimpye tearfully explained that while it is hard, her family understands and supports her goal to one day be an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater member or ballerina for the American Ballet Theatre. "I really miss my family, especially my Mom, when I'm away. I love them so much," she said. "But I'm doing what I love and that helps us when we are apart."
Imani Brookins and Alicia Batieste of Macon are college students and dance instructors. They both attended the meet and greet with Wimpye and agree that she is poised to do great things in dance. Brookins is a sophomore business major at Middle Georgia State University and instructor with Phillips Children's Performing Arts Studio. She says Wimpye is a role model even at thirteen. "She's inspiring. Although she's younger than me, I'm learning from her. She is very knowledgeable about dance and what it takes to succeed," said Brookins. "Dance is a way of expressing our feelings and can help." Batieste, 23, is a veteran ballerina currently on a dance scholarship at Jacksonville State University in Florida; East Coast Ballet dancer; and guest choreographer with Phillips. She believes Wimpye will be big. "She has the love, drive and determination. And she is at her prime. I can't wait to see her in the future," Batieste said.
Following the meet and greet with Wimpye, Burnette reflected on Destiny's rise. A combination of determination and unwavering support from her mother. "I commend her Mom. She left everything in Atlanta to allow Destiny to pursue her dream. She is the super Mom of the year," Burnette beamed. "I hope that Destiny's journey will inspire these girls to go for their dreams." Wimpye's mother says her daughter's ascent is an example of what can happen if parents support their children's passion. "This is really special. For me as her mother it can be overwhelming sometimes. But I'm proud of her," said Glover. "If a child shows potential in something don't brush them off. Look at what supporting them can do." "This was so amazing. Destiny is such a positive role model," said Dennard. "We were privileged to have shared this time with her today. She is going to do great things."
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