Photo by Perla Diaz, courtesy Olivia Wong

Commercial Queen Olivia Wong Talks Hula Hooping, Dream Journaling, and Her Love for Parris Goebel

With a combination of hard-hitting fierceness and feminine sass, L.A.-based commercial dancer Olivia Wong makes even the most intricate choreography look like second nature. Originally from New Orleans, LA, Wong moved to the West Coast to pursue a career in dance, and has since performed with J Balvin at Lollapalooza Music Festival and Becky G at the Latin American Music Awards, in addition to being a featured dancer in Justin Bieber's "That's What Love Is" visual album video. This spring, she graduated with a BFA in commercial dance and a concentration in acting from Hussian College, formerly the Studio School Los Angeles.

Do you have any favorite quotes or mantras?

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart." —Confucius

What do you love most about dance?

It has led me through the journey of self love and discovery.

What gets you through a long rehearsal or performance?

Giving and receiving good energy with those around me.

What's something no one knows about you?

I used to compete in hula hoop contests in grade school.

Who would play you in a movie?


Wong in Justin Bieber's "That's What Love Is" music video (Taylor Randall, courtesy Wong)

Have you had any embarrassing moments onstage? What happened?

During the finale of J Balvin's Lollapalooza set, my inflatable costume began rapidly deflating.

What's your best advice for young performers?

Life is full of the unknown. Don't forget to be kind to yourself and patient with the process.

What are you most proud of?

Becoming a college graduate while starting my professional dance career in Los Angeles.

Who's your dance crush?

Parris Goebel ❤️ She's the one!

What's the first thing you do in the morning?

Write in my dream journal.

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Photo by Brooke Fera

Enter the World of the Knicks City Dancers with 2 of Their Newest Rookies

Auditions rarely fail to deliver on suspense. But this? This was the nail-biter to end all nail-biters. Hayoung Roh and Chelsea McCloskey, both professional dancers based in NYC, had made it through what felt like endless rounds of cuts, both on Zoom and in person. Out of the nearly 500 dancers (from 30 states and nine countries) who'd answered the Knicks City Dancers' open call for video submissions, just 20 remained—McCloskey and Roh among them. "We were separated into six holding rooms, where we kept trying to figure out the math," Roh recalls. "How many girls are there in total? Who was called back?"

Finally, the women returned to the audition room to dance one last time—or so they were told. Instead, KCD head coach Alyssa Quezada dropped her bombshell: All 20 women had made the final cut. They would be 2021–22 Knicks City Dancers: the latest and greatest edition of one of the most prestigious NBA dance teams. "It was the biggest celebration and the coolest moment of my dance career so far," says McCloskey now. And that was just the oh-so-perfectly-dramatic beginning.

Chelsea McCloskey stands on her left leg while kicking her right leg up with her arms crossed, a smile on her face. She is auditioning for KCD. Chelsea McCloskey Photo by Tess Mayer

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