Janessa Cox and Lanaya Irvin are examples of Black Love. Cox and Irvin married in July and they knew that their day had to be memorable and spectacular. Because the loved birds enjoy music and dancing, Cox thought of a unique way to incorporate their love of entertainment in their wedding. Sharing with ESSENCE magazine that she is a huge Beyoncé fan, Cox decided that she wanted to perform a Beyoncé inspired dance for her wife, Lanaya, at their wedding.
I am a HUGE Beyoncé fan and music and dancing play a large part in our relationship in general, Cox told ESSENCE. When considering my own dance, I thought it would create a fun transition signaling that the party was about to get started!
It’s something about Beyoncé’s music that brings out your inner diva and makes you want to dance. Cox had the vision of what she wanted to do in her head, however, she’s not a trained professional dancer. So what did the untrained Wall Street professional do, she hired choreographer Shirlene Quigley who’s resume includes dancing with Chris Brown, Rihanna, and of course, the Queen Bey herself. To ensure that it was a surprise, Cox trained with Quigley twice a week for 2 months. Additionally, she had to swear her friends to keep a secret so that Irvin wouldn’t know.
I rehearsed twice a week for 3 months with the amazing choreographer, Shirlene Quigley, whose resume includes dancing on tour for Beyonce and Rihanna. She knew she was not working with a professional dancer, but instead, an untrained Wall Streeter so put together a 4-minute routine that fit my skill set. I worked with Shirlene to hire four of the most phenomenal dancers who honestly just killed it and kept assuring me that I could do this.
What made Janessa’s dance so memorable wasn’t simply about the dances that she chose to perform but the song selection told a story. Cox was intentional in selecting Beyonce’ songs that she not only enjoyed dancing to but she selected songs that symbolized Cox transitioning from Ms. Cox to Mrs. Irvin.
I chose 3 songs for the medley that I felt told a cheeky story about relationship progression: ‘Diva’ because every woman is fabulous in her own way and that was like single me. ‘Upgrade You’ because this should happen in any healthy relationship and that’s what happened when we were dating then. ‘Love On Top’ because when all is said on done, love should always prevail and that’s what happened when I married my wife.