La’ Toya Princess Jackson, aka ElectrKPrincess, is a writer and producer of ballets, songs, and plays. She is a ballerina in training at Ballethnic Dance Company. As the founder of LaPrincess Entertainment Group, LLC she aspired to create original works that provide a positive representation of African Americans in arts and entertainment.
Jackson obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media Arts Radio, TV, and Film at Clark Atlanta University in 2005 and went on to graduate from Harvard in the 2019 Dramatic Arts field of study program. Today she is known for producing “Vanity Lane” the first all-Black ballet at Harvard.
Rolling out spoke Jackson about her experiences as an acclaimed dancer.
How did you get your start as a ballet dancer?
It’s unconventional because most ballet dancers start training at three years old, and here I am an adult deciding to explore ballet. I was fortunate enough to meet the artistic directors of Ballethnic Dance Company and they allowed me to train in their pre-professional program with the teenagers. I call myself a ballerina in training because I am still learning.
Tell me about your Harvard experience.
I started researching programs, and I just so happened to get into the program right when they started their theater dance media department. That allowed me to come in as one of the first students helping to form that department. That was a good thing for me because I was able to really explore all facets of the creative process. I got to explore the performative aspect and the theoretical aspect of it.
What is the skill that you rank essential in your career?
I would say … persistence. You have to have drive and persistence because ballet is probably one of the only art forms that stays true to classical form.
Tell me about your project Vanity Lane, the first Black ballet production at Harvard.
Vanity Lane started before I decided to go to Harvard. I was working on a song that I wrote called “Vanity Lane.” I started really examining the lyrics and I decided to turn it into a story. When I got to Harvard, I said that I wanted to turn it into full-length ballet.
I started to pull from my resources at the Boston Ballet, where I was working at the time. I went to Harvard and I met a few undergrad students from a theatre company, and they helped me to get the ballet on the stage at Harvard.
We premiered last year, in March of 2018, to a sold-out audience for three nights. It was the first ballet produced and presented by a Black cast at Harvard.
What can people expect from you next?
My goal is to premiere the ballet and take it on a national tour. I want to premiere it first in Atlanta off the college market. The goal is to premiere it here in the spring of 2021.