Nelson, Elijah, & Alizah Olivio (The DreamYard Project)
Nelson: My name is Nelson and I’m performing in The Tempest with my son and daughter Elijah and Alizah. We live in the Bronx, and we actually live in the same building as the DreamYard center. They put posters for Tempest auditions up in my building and my son saw the poster and wanted to audition. I actually just took the kids so they could dance, but I ended up singing and they invited all of us to be in the show.
When I was younger I was working in one of the bigger nightclubs in New York, and once I would close my bar I would dance. I met a lot of people, choreographers and everything. I’ve always done Hip-Hop, and I used to teach salsa and break-dancing when I was in high school. While in high school I studied modern, ballet, jazz, tap, and African dance. I’d just gotten offered to go on tour with Madonna right before my first child was born, so I stayed and witnessed the birth of my first child. My kids are my first priority. I started working at St. Barnabas Hospital and I’ve been there for the past thirteen years, but I continue to dance on my own and started teaching my kids how to dance. If my son Elija hears music he can’t stay still, and my daughter loves to sing. They both sing a lot. They sing in kids’ services in church and everything. I grew up dancing and Elijah is pretty much me as a kid. I was the life of the party, I was always dancing, so to watch him is amazing because he has such a love for it, and it reminds me of me when I was younger. Dancing is still something that I love to do and I would definitely be interested in doing more of it if the opportunity does arise. In the meantime, it’s awesome to watch Elijah and Alizah.
Alizah: My name is Alizah and I’m six. For my audition I danced. I like to sing too. I like that Selena Gomez song that goes, “When you’re ready come and get it!” I like to sing that one. I’m going into first grade now and I liked kindergarten and pre-K because we got to play two times a day. I want to be an art teacher and a doctor and a dentist when I grow up.
Elijah: My name is Elijah and I’m eight years old. I’ve been dancing since I was a baby and I danced for my audition. My favorite subjects in school are art, gym and writing. I wrote two books. One was called “Carlos Eats Vegetables”. It’s about a little boy named Carlos and his dad makes vegetables—brussel sprouts, peas, all the green kind of vegetables, and the boy didn’t like them and he had a dog. So when his dad went to wash the dishes he gave the vegetables to the dog. I don’t have a dog but once we get our house, my mom said she’s going to get us a husky. I also like to draw. I like to draw stick people, cars, buses, trains, buildings, houses…
Alizah: Houses? You’re serious? Houses?
Elijah: Yes…! Anyway, when I grow up I want to be somebody that travels. First I want to finish school, and then I want to be somebody that travels around the world and gives people food. Another thing I want to be is a famous professional dancer.
Nelson: Their mom is very happy they’re doing The Tempest. She sees them practicing at home, and she and their grandmother can’t wait to come see the show!