Laughter Emmanuel: Nowhere But Up

Participating in Trxbe, and being in the Suffolk University performing arts community in general, has given me the amazing opportunity to meet people who are just utterly and completely in love with, and passionate about their art. Laughter Emmanuel (yes her name is Laughter), is without a doubt one of them. Standing at 5’9, the laid-back Nigerian baddie, sports a unique style, and has a way of moving that one can only chalk up to one word: astounding. The 18 year old started out dancing with her siblings in a dance group in her church, and has since, two-stepped, trotted, and rocked her way across dance genres like jazz, African, Hip hop, and step.

I had the privilege of dancing with Laughter, during her time with Trxbe, and learned through her instagram (which you all should go follow: @asap.laughter21), that she’d been performing throughout the community. I quickly contacted her, to see if I could schedule in some time to chat with her about the projects she’d been working on, she of course, enthusiastically invited me to come watch them all perform.

I hopped on the T (or what people outside of Boston refer to as the ‘subway’), and headed to the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (‘MassArt’ for short). Laughter and her older sister Emmanuella Emmanuel, had pulled together a team of dancers to display some Afro fusion dance, at the 10th annual Colleges of the Fenway Dance Project’s showcase. Shortly after I got off the train, I spotted a girl dressed in a dashiki, and quickly caught her attention, knowing she had to be apart of the team, having seen Laughter and a few members sporting the traditional West African gear. She was apart of the team of course, and led me to where Laughter and the other members of the team were. After conversing with Laughter for a little bit, she led me to the theater where I was blown away by several groups that performed, including tap groups that sported blush pink blouses (and later polka dots), a hip hop group that got crunk to Missy Elliot’s new single Pep Rally, a liturgical group whose formations were nothing short of breathtaking, and a cultural African dance group that jigged energetically to a live drum. Emmanuella, who is a senior, had actually been in six of the dances performed that night.

“I’ve always wanted to choreograph a piece but I never had the time, and then my sister who is on the step team was like yo! We could do this together!” squealed Emmanuella. And let me tell you, they did more than just “do” it, they killed it, slayed it, etc. etc.

This obviously being a new venture, I wanted to chat with the people who were willing to go along for the ride with the sisters.

“Well, I think that it’s something really different, and something that you don’t really see in dance recitals you know? It’s usually the traditional Hip Hop, ballet, jazz, tap, and when I heard that there was going to be afro fusion so that’s why I got into it” said Jasmine Benitez a junior, who had been in four dances that night.
For Tanya Rivera, a senior she was just excited to join in and participate, “Not only did my friend Emmanuella choreograph it, but I love African dance!”

“Just keep trying! Like just keep dancing! My goal in life is to be dancer…Dancing is my plan A, B, C, you know what I’m saying…just don’t give up!” said Laughter, and in that moment, I realized why Laughter is one of the people I label as one who is utterly and completely in love with, and passionate about their art.

Please guys keep up with her, you’ll see her somewhere someday. I have no doubt in my mind:

Once again, check out her Instagram page, she’s started posting dance videos!


watch the video of their performance here:


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