Aicha McKenzie

HOW DID YOU IDENTIFY YOUR PASSION AND THE WORK THAT SATISFIED YOU VERSUS WORK THAT JUST PAID THE BILLS?
My first real job was dancing in a nightclub. I was a podium dancer and worked every weekend from the age of 16. I danced because I loved it and was getting paid, so I had my own money to spend on nice things, as I was still living at home with my mum. We didn’t even have mobile phones then! As I got older and finished school I started to dance professionally, and when I wasn’t working I handed out flyers and did promotional gigs for all sorts of brands to make sure I had money for rent, food and dance class. Standing on street corners doing the flyers was a means to an end, my passion was always dance so I was completely focused on that dream.

WHO WILL ETERNALLY BE A WOMAN YOU ADMIRE AND RESPECT, AND WHY?
My mother Hazel McKenzie. She was born in Jamaica and immigrated to London when she was 5 years old with an Aunty. She grew up to be the strongest, most generous, hard-working, beautiful, passionate woman I’ve ever known. I miss her everyday but feel her guidance within me.

IN LIGHT OF YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF OUR HASHTAG #WHYITRIBE, WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO CELEBRATE WHO WE ALREADY ARE TODAY?
We can be so focused on running the race that we don’t stop to celebrate the wins along the way. It isn’t only about the end game. It’s knowing each day that the steps that you are taking feel good to you and are building a path to success. When you stop and look back, seeing how far you’ve come feels great.

NAME A TIME RECENTLY WHEN YOU SAID SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF/HOW DID THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?
Everyday. I don’t stand in front of the mirror saying affirmations to myself, however I move my body with ease and kindness every single day. By practicing yoga, it feels like opening little love letters to myself.

WHY DO YOU THINK WOMEN SHY AWAY FROM CELEBRATING OR PRAISING THEMSELVES SO MUCH?
I think historically, demure, modest women were celebrated, and self-confidence was deemed as loud, slightly and brash. Women are used to getting things done quietly in the background and making it all happen without the need for a pat on the back.

HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THE TENDENCY TO DISCREDIT COMPLIMENTS YOU ARE GIVEN?
I’ve learnt to accept them just say thank you! Also find something to compliment the other person back. If you can’t think of something in the moment, just praising them for saying the compliment to you and making you feel great is enough.

WHY IS THE TRIBE MOVEMENT IMPORTANT?
People can’t make real change alone. I’m here for women supporting women, men supporting women and all humans simply supporting and doing the best for each other so that we all rise. My Tribe Lifts Your Vibe.

Occupation: CEO & Director of AMCK Models, AMCK Dance and AMCK FIT – a fitness and wellness service exclusively for the fashion, entertainment and creative industries

Website: www.amckfit.com

Instagram: aichamckenzie