Rotita Cunningham as Fatima Robinson

“I’ve never lived my life by the expectations society puts on you. When something doesn’t feel right or isn’t going the way it should, I listen to my instincts and change it.”

-Fatima Robinson

At the forefront of the music and video industry is the amazing Fatima Robinson. While working as a young cosmetologist, Fatima and her friends decided to try out for a spot as a dancer in a music video, and she won! That one night was the start of something amazing for her. From then on, she spent much of her time rehearsing and dancing in local clubs as she developed and created her own unique style of movement, adding her own flavor to popular dance moves. In 1992, Fatima received a call asking her to choreograph Michael Jackson’s video, Remember The Time. This was a huge breakout moment in her career. From then on, numerous artists where asking her to create for them, and her work was being seen all over MTV. She won her first MTV Video Music Award in 1995, and didn’t slow down from there as she has continued to win a variety of awards for her choreography. The list of top stars Fatima has worked with is long and prestigious, including Aaliyah, Back Street Boys, Dr. Dre, Brandy, and Bobby Brown, just to name a few. She has found herself choreographing for major companies like Target and numerous award shows as well as main stream movies. Fatima has even added the roles of creative director and producer to her long and ever growing resume. Her career has lead her to continue to be one of the most sought after choreographers in the industry. Fatima Robinson is an inspiring woman and leader in the world of dance.

Rotita Cunningham captured honoring Fatima Robinson

“Fatima’s choreography is really profound. She doesn’t sell out to the trend and she allows the music to directly speak to her and provides the movement in response to the music. She is big on creating lines and pictures with the body and incorporates technique to enhance the visual complexity of a performance. The connection that I feel to Fatima Robinson is overall knowledge and versatility. Her experience has allowed her to work and create on so many different levels and with so many different types of dancers. She works in the commercial dance industry and has for years, but she never deserts her roots. Fatima uses her foundation and knowledge to expound on whatever she is creating. Anything that is thrown at her, she takes it on and kills it! She inspires me in my field and in my work to stay true to who I am and use what I got!” 

When asked why she include history in her dance classes, Rotita exclaims “Including history in my classes is important because it helps to give meaning to what you do. It helps my students gain understanding and ultimately respect for the dance itself. Dance history gives inspiration and foundation to the next generation, and it is the backbone to the dance industry. I always say, if you don’t know where it came from, how do you plan to take it anywhere?!”

-Rotita Cunningham

Dance educator and choreographer in Virginia Beach, VA