My name is Javier Spivey and I’m sixteen years old. I was raised in Jersey and now I go to LaGuardia High School. I’m going to be a junior next year and came in as a sophomore, so I’ve only been there for one year. I remember first coming in I was so nervous. It’s such a big school and I come from Jersey, where I was a small fish in a big pond. I was that only boy that sang and danced and tapped in the hallways. It meant so much to me getting into LaGuardia because I knew I was one of five sophomores to get accepted into the drama program. I wasn’t playing any games. I really wanted it, so I take it as seriously as I can because you’re really given an advantage before college by going to this great school, since it’s a conservatory-style program.
Though my major is drama, I’m also definitely a dancer. I’m really into theater and musical theater. I’d love to dance on Broadway—that would be a dream! I was playing sports when I was younger, and by nine years old I’d had it. I was playing baseball one day and was about to hit the ball, and I just threw my bat at the pitcher and ran off. I was like, “No more! I want to dance!” It’s so dramatic, I know. But I worked really hard that year, dancing at my school, and when I was about ten I got a scholarship to dance at Alvin Ailey, so I’ve been dancing at Ailey ever since. It’s been awesome. I love it so much. I guess what I love about Ailey is that it takes me to so many cool places. We performed at the White House for the Obamas. We met the First Lady, which was crazy. We’re going to do the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I love it. But between the Ailey school and LaGuardia, I definitely don’t have a social life! I dance at Ailey pretty much every day, so there’s really no time to fool around. But it’s so worth it! I spent the summer teaching dance at Martha’s Vineyard. It was so cool and I had such a good time! I was teaching West African, which is one of my favorite classes.
I know that there are so many kids who have nothing to do, and the way they use their time is not only unproductive, but scary. So, I’m just grateful that I’m doing something I love. I could never imagine not knowing what I wanted to do. I really can’t imagine myself doing anything else, like sitting at a desk would just be ridiculous for me. I’m really glad that I have a family that supports what I’m doing. As long as I go to college, they won’t flip out on me!
I’m also really into using the arts to help other people. I jumped on the bandwagon as Jr. Artistic Director for a non-profit that one of my really good friends Nicole founded, called MOVE, which stands for Motivation Opportunity Vision Entertainment. Boom! We put on showcases in the city and raise money for causes. We have an Autism Speaks Awareness concert in April, which is always a huge thing. We rent out a New York City theater and get dancers from Broadway Dance Center, Ailey and Julliard to come together and put on these awesome shows and raise as much money as we can. The reason I want to be an artist more than anything—because I don’t need to be famous—is to make a difference and change the world. When I’m gone, people are going to be like, “Oh, Javier Spivey, he DID something.”
I’m so excited for The Tempest! Rehearsing is so much fun! I love it and I’ve never done something like this. I really appreciate the diversity of our cast. There’s such a range of people, from age to where everyone is from; I love it. I love that everyone can learn from one other. It’s so cool and I’m so excited!