Forbes described the visuals in the video as “socially conscious and violent, presenting a controversial juxtaposition of joy, ignorance and trauma”.
That video introduced the world to a new artistic visionary, the music video’s choreographer, Sherrie Silver who is now an accomplished creative entrepreneur.
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Being the film’s dance director, she fused 10 traditional dances of the African diaspora. Aside from choreographing “This Is America,” though, Silver is an accomplished creative entrepreneur, and her journey began far before this video dropped.
Silver is a creative director, dancer and actress based in UK but originally from Rwanda in east Africa, who says she’s on a mission to educate the world about African cultures through the art of dance.
Silver was present on the night of the MTV VMA awards when Childish Gambino’s This Is America, bagged three awards for Best Choreography, Best Video with a Message and Best Direction. All awards were collected by Silver on behalf of the team.
Despite growing up with limited access to the financial resources necessary to get her vision off of the ground, with a degree in business marketing, Silver used social media as a platform to create a sustainable dance career for herself while providing opportunities for her community.
Before she had the attention of millions, Silver started out by recording dance videos using her phone and uploading them to YouTube. Her YouTube channel now has more than 458,000 subscribers.
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For me, dance is a mechanism for change. Shut down a street in Rwanda to hold a community dance workshop where I was able to bless 1,000 people with health insurance for the year. _____ Thank you to all my clients this year, you have indirectly been a part of the change by hiring me and allowing me to express myself on your platforms. #MoreThanJustDance _____ #DanceWithSherrie www.sherriesilver.com _____ Filmed and edited by local Videographer: @iam_harris_regis – supported by local dancers @silverbeatworld who will be coming to the USA with me next week!! 🇷🇼✈️🇺🇸 @dawson.rashid @childrenofdestinyss @didier_mdizzo @bubusprince @titi_brown_dancer @tarshambabazi
Silver, 24, is now a dedicated advocate and activist giving back to her community. She’s paid for hundreds of Rwandan citizens’ healthcare, and she regularly hosts large community events and then donates those proceeds to various causes.
In an interview with Forbes, Silver said that being a philanthropist is what completes her life. “Wherever I go, I feel like it’s my duty to redevelop schools, to put kids in school. Even now, I’m going to have the “This Is America” celebration party, where all the kids are going to get to have this free workshop. They’re going to get food, presents.”
Apart from starting several professional development programs for under-served women, she also rents out a home in Rwanda to shelter displaced and disadvantaged children.
In a bid to fulfil her mission, Silver travels the world, popping up at festivals, collaborating with cultural institutions and hosting small group sessions to bring African dance to the public.
Silver has worked with superstars such as Wizkid, Sean Paul, Tiwa Savage, P-Square and more. She has even created a tutorial for those looking to learn the moves in “This is America.”
Check out Silver’s Choreography in “This is America”