Meet Lynsey Lynn – NAMA nominated for outsdanding female dancer, a multi-talented artist with an unforgettable voice, a choreographer, a creative director in the making and a hairstylist born in Harare, Zimbabwe. She is part of the dance duo, Sheroes with Kudzanai Kandiwona. Don’t take my word for it, click on the links for examples of her work and visit her YouTube. Lynsey is into open style choreography, “but my strengths in that open style are Hip Hop, Afro Pop and Dancehall.” Lynsey attributes Jesus as her rock.
The multi-talented young Zimbabwean started dancing at a young age, “I always danced for fun in high school. I kept on dancing after high school, but as a hobby because I was concentrating on getting my BTech (hons) degree in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. After graduating I continued dancing and I got into my first dance crews Assassins through Eugine and I.D.C (Innovative Dance Crew) through the late Delroy Maripakwenda, around 2012. From then I got involved with many other dance crews, dance movements, dance studios and companies. When I was in I.D.C is when I made my decision to pursue dance and shelve my degree. I made that decision around 2014.”
The choreographer remarks, “I can’t pinpoint a person to say he/she nurtured me to become a choreographer, but I can tell you how the journey has been until now. It started by being given sections to choreograph in the crew’s choreography to being given a section in the song to choreograph for myself or a few individuals in a performance or production. When I was in China I got more into choreography and now I am at a level of choreographing my work and being called to choreograph for artists performances. I believe I still have way more room to grow and I am just at the beginning of the choreography part of my career.”
The dancer started a YouTube channel when she was shooting dance videos and working in China. Her channel, “started growing when I posted my wedding dance which I choreographed. We had the best bridal team that brought that dance to life. My favourite dance cover on my channel is Mi Gente. You should check it out and subscribe of course.”
Here is Lynsey’s process when working on a new dance routine:
“I have three processes and I always make a skeleton of the routine first. Fun fact about my routines is that most of my movement comes when I am cooking or at very odd hours.
- I listen to a song and I vibe to it. I start freestyling to it and then I come up with choreography.
- When I am free, I can come up with movement without a beat and then I later sync the movement to the beat and lyrics.
- Sometimes I think of the story that I want to tell then I look for a song that goes with that and then I come up with the movement.”
Lynsey Lynn has too many favourite dancers/choreographers to mention, “I will name one of each, Choreographer – Keone Madrid – His technique, control, musicality, the structure of his choreography, his movement and his concepts blow my mind. Dancer – Jade Chynoweth – She is my favourite because of her versatility, how she embodies someone else’s choreography, her control and technique, her musicality, energy, attitude, and expression.
The highlights of my dance career so far: Outstanding Female Dancer NAMA nomination. Performing in South Africa. Performing and working in China. Doing the DSTV Lite advert. Performing at the NAMA opening, twice. Choreographing and performing in a production called HerStory by Incubator ZW in partnership with the British Council, Alliance Francaise de Bulawayo and the Zimbabwe German Society which was showcased in Harare and Bulawayo. This is probably the main highlight for me because it was my first time telling my story through my choreography and choreographing the full production.”
On how Sheroes came to be, “Kudzanai and I have known each other for almost 7 years now. In 2015 we performed with Nyasha David at the Dreamstar Finals and he came third in the competition. From that day he started calling us his Sheroes. Our friendship grew as the three of us and everyone around us started calling us the Sheroes.
Last year Kudzanai and I got a gig, we were asked what we are called so the event organisers could put it on the poster. We decided to use Sheroes since a lot of people had started calling us that. It’s a cool name and we can relate to the definition of the word, so we decided to go with it. We started getting more gigs and doing a lot more stuff together and the Sheroes brand started growing. Fun fact about the Sheroes is that we were both born on the 12th of August just different years. I just had to put it there, hehe.
You can expect more performances from us when the lockdown eases or ends because right now it is not easy to move around and we also need to consider each other’s safety.”
These have been Lynn’s favourite musicians to work with, Janet Manyowa, Gemma, SoulDeep, Nyasha David, Leonard Mapfumo, Vera, Mr Rebel, Tariro neGitare and Jah Prayzah. In the future she wants to work with, Winky D, Nutty O and Holy Ten.
Besides being a choreographer, Lynsey is also part of Incubator ZW, “I have been with Incubator ZW from when the hub was started. I am one of the founders – first beneficiaries and currently the Community Director. The head/owner of the hub is Vera. My focus is more on outreach projects/programs, I create and ensure that there is programming that is 100% inclusive of all demographics especially the marginalised ones. I mainly work on projects that provide a platform for creatives to express themselves and grow by giving them a voice and opportunity to be who they are.”
This is how the young entrepreneur how she balances all the work she does, “time management and planning is the key. I usually have my dance projects on my calendar and I use the in-between days and times to put my hair appointments and grow my business. The hairstylist side has less time since it is the side hustle, but I still give it a great effort. Currently, it is difficult to do both because I can only dance at home and I can only do virtual gigs. I usually do house calls when I do hair, but it is not conducive right now even if we were to observe all the safety measures.”
This is the best advice Lynsey has ever been given:
- “If you know who holds your tomorrow and that is God, you will never worry about tomorrow because you know how great God is.
- Assuming there is no room for you on their table create your table.
- If you don’t build your dream someone else will hire you to help build theirs.”
I asked the choreographer what 5 songs she listens to the most, “this is the toughest question of them all because as a dancer I listen to a lot of music. My favourites change according to the season, but let me try and list the ones I think that I listen to the most:
- I know who I am by Sinach – I know who I am in Christ.
- Twenty-Five by Winky D – I can relate to that song because there are so many things that thought I would have achieved by 25 which I didn’t and still haven’t until now because of different challenges but the hustle goes on.
- Simba Mukaka by Nutty O – I work for what I have, and that song is just a masterpiece from the beat to the lyrics.
- Husingapere by Marbel Madondo – If I hadn’t found Christ I can only imagine where I would be right now and the type of person I would have become.
- MaObama by Takura – I also like good things, being comfortable and taking care of myself so I hustle. The truth is that we are all looking for money what is different is the way we look for it.”
The things that make Lynsey most proud about being Zimbabwean are, “Freedom of religion. We are resilient people. We have been through a lot as a nation, but we are still stand strong and still have hope for a better tomorrow and we live in a beautiful country. (I still have a lot of places on my bucket list that I want to visit in Zimbabwe).”
To get touch with her for choreography or hair styling services and to connect with her on social media:
FB page: Hair by Lynsey Lynn, Dance: Lynsey Lynn, Personal: Lynsey Chenai Lynn
Instagram: Personal – @queenlynn_ Business – @lynsey.lynn_
YouTube: Lynsey Lynn
Lynsey wants to be remembered as “a person who went after her dreams, as an artist who changed the narrative, stood for what she believed in and inspired others to go for what they love and do what they love and was a voice for the voiceless, especially the marginalised.”
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