“A Day in the Life” with Toronto dancer Christina de la Cruz

Born and raised in Toronto, Christina de la Cruz is very much a child of the style. Her love affair with dance started when her mother enrolled her in traditional Hawaiian Hula dance at the tender age of 3. She took to performing so much that she began to dance in local variety shows and community events. Her mother surrounded her with the arts, playing music around the house and taking her to cultural events whenever possible. Her childhood lessons included learning how to play the piano, drums, violin, trumpet and singing in both church and recreational choirs. At the Cabbagetown Youth Center, she joined the recreational hip hop dance program, which resonated more with her than anything she’d ever experienced.

Hip Hop dance kept a place in her life through high school and university. Juggling her undergraduate degree with a burgeoning career in the Toronto dance industry, she perfected her craft by working with diverse choreographers and learning other styles of dance. Upon the completion of her degree, she began to work full time on film and television projects such as Fox’s Rocky Horror Picture Show and Descendants 2. She was honored enough to be chosen to perform in the Monsters of Hip Hop Show, and this began her process into securing a US work visa.

Since moving to Los Angeles in 2017, she has been blessed enough to work with artists such as Camila Cabello, Sean Paul and Becky G. She has toured with the likes of Drake and Cardi B, and partnered with global brands like Old Navy and Heineken. She continues to work towards being a better dancer than she was the day before. She looks forward to exploring the cultural impact of dance on the greater population and is very interested in how dance can become more accessible to people of all economic and social backgrounds.

Christina de la Cruz - Taking class with one of my first hip hop teachers, Lenny de la Pena
Christina de la Cruz – Taking class with one of my first hip hop teachers, Lenny de la Pena
Christina de la Cruz - On stage performing the number "Controlla" for Drake's Aubrey and the Three Migos tour
Christina de la Cruz – On stage performing the number “Controlla” for Drake’s Aubrey and the Three Migos tour
Christina de la Cruz - Enjoying one of my fave places for brunch in toronto, BB's diner, with my Mom and friends Taryn & Vanessa
Christina de la Cruz – Enjoying one of my fave places for brunch in toronto, BB’s diner, with my Mom and friends Taryn & Vanessa
Outside of Bahn Mi Che Cali, one of my fave asian delis in Alhambra, CA
Outside of Bahn Mi Che Cali, one of my fave asian delis in Alhambra, CA
On set for Cardi B's "Money" video
On set for Cardi B’s “Money” video
Adventuring with crew mates in Baku, Azerbaijan on a day off from perfoming with Cardi B at the Formula 1
Adventuring with crew mates in Baku, Azerbaijan on a day off from perfoming with Cardi B at the Formula 1
Me and the other 5 dancers of Drake's AATTM tour, before soundcheck in Chicago
Me and the other 5 dancers of Drake’s AATTM tour, before soundcheck in Chicago
Teaching a community workshop to benefit the Cabbagetown Youth Center
Teaching a community workshop to benefit the Cabbagetown Youth Center
Christina de la Cruz - Backstage in Frankfurt, Germany before performing with Cardi B
Christina de la Cruz – Backstage in Frankfurt, Germany before performing with Cardi B
Christina de la Cruz - My mom after watching me perform at the Scotiabank Centre for the first time
Christina de la Cruz – My mom after watching me perform at the Scotiabank Centre for the first time

What ‘hood are you in?

I spend my time between Canada and the US.
When I’m North of the border, I stay in the downtown Toronto neighbourhood of St. Jamestown (or often called Bleecker by its residents), where I was born and raised. It’s such a unique little pocket because it has this culturally rich population of immigrants, all while bordering the Victorian homes of Cabbagetown, the lively energy of the Village, and equally diverse Regent Park. The people, food, music, dancing and culture I was exposed to in Bleecker was a huge part of forming the artist and woman I am today.

In the US, I live in the NoHo arts district (part of the larger area called North Hollywood). It has a lot of great arts hubs like small theatres and dance studios, but it’s also always developing and new businesses pop up every day.

What do you do?

I’m a professional dancer. I work freelance in both Toronto and LA, and wherever else the work calls me to! I’ve been blessed enough to see so much of the world through dance.

What are you currently working on?

I just launched my most recent project with Air Canada for their Fly the Flag campaign. It profiles me and other Canadians following their dreams in California. Check it out here:

Other than that, I’m in the midst of one of those lulls most freelancers know well: between finishing up some great jobs and an open sea of opportunity. I don’t have anything solidified in the near future, which might sound scary but is actually pretty exciting because anything could happen!

Where can we find your work?

You can find my work on my personal Instagram and on my agency’s profile.

 

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 1749 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography