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‘The Shaping of a Diamond’ showcases performing artists

Katina Amadi and Shaping of a Diamond cast members. From L-R: Kevin Hayes, Jenna McMillan, Whitney Neal, Al Green, Amadi, Andre’ Hickman, Lateisha Carter, Ja’Ire Springer and Dominique Faison (bending down). Katina Amadi and Shaping of a Diamond cast members.
From L-R: Kevin Hayes, Jenna McMillan, Whitney Neal, Al Green, Amadi, Andre’ Hickman, Lateisha Carter, Ja’Ire Springer and Dominique Faison (bending down). Courtesy photo

On October 1 at 7 p.m., entrepreneur Katina Amadi, will present an artistic showcase of performing artists from a wide array of disciplines on one stage at the Khalif Event Center in Greensboro.

Why would a non-profit organizer, business owner and advocate embark on such an undertaking?

The inspiration for the grand performance that will include comedy acts, a Michael Jackson impersonator, live art, dance performances and a Prince tribute, is to provide an opportunity for area artists to display their talents and skills.

“The Shaping of a Diamond,” as the show is called, serves as a metaphor for the journey all performers travel to achieve a mastery of their craft. According to Amadi, “Shaping of a Diamond” frees the gems (dancers) from the confines that may have once hindered their true beauty and allows them to display their uniqueness before the masses.

If Amadi’s name is familiar, she served as the campaign chairperson for Ralph C. Johnson, a former state representative in the N.C. House who died last February due to complications of a stroke. Her success as a campaign manager and her strong work ethic have helped her begin to heal from the loss of Johnson, her candidate and friend.

Amadi said she strives to provide performing artists with opportunities once granted to her in order to help them to achieve their dreams.

“I’m sticking with these dancers,” Amadi said. “I believe in these dancers. Giving them a platform. Really showing them all that they can do. One way or the other, helping to elevate them to another level of professionalism.”

One of the dancers in “The Shaping of a Diamond” will be Kevin Hayes, a Charlotte based performer, who brings a unique flare to the stage.

“I’ve been dancing since I was five so I have done a lot of impersonations like Usher, M.C. Hammer, James Brown. Then I started to do Michael.”

After Jackson’s untimely death, Hayes was encouraged to embody the musician’s full persona and found that his performance was well received. From that moment on, he comfortably settled into that niche.

Hayes admits that he never understood why he expressed a passion for the art of dance until six years ago when a friend explained to him that his gift was a family trait.

“I love dancing,” Hayes said. “A friend told me that my mom and dad use to cut the dance floor up and I am just finding out about this. I guess they didn’t want me to feel as if I had to follow in their footsteps.”

Greensboro resident LaNeese Chantal, originally from Queens, New York, is a N.C. Agricultural & Technical State University student majoring in media management and dance. Chantal helped choreograph the show and she will participate in Hayes’ performance.

Chantal creates choreography for musical genres such as hip-hop and jazz. She also choreographs for musical theater and dances at Daliana Dance and ReVamp Contemporary. Her favorite style of dance is jazz-funk and she described performing it as “a fun feeling.”

“It’s a choreography that I tend to enjoy watching. Every style is different so every dancer brings something different to jazz-funk. It makes me feel good. That’s usually what people like about dance. It makes them feel emotion.”

Thomasina Flowers, a modern dancer from Winston-Salem will also perform in “The Shaping of a Diamond”. Flowers earned a degree in dance from UNC Greensboro. She sees the show as an opportunity to celebrate the art of dance which has helped her achieve the autonomy to rhythmically express herself.

“It gives me a sense of freedom,” Flowers said. “That’s where my emotion comes from and where I feel I can express myself. It’s the idea of knowing that dance accepts me.”

“The Shaping of a Diamond” performance will take place at Khalif Temple Event Center; 2000 E. Wendover Ave. in Greensboro, 27405. For ticketing information, visit or contact Katina Amadi at (336) 693.0014.

Naari Honor is a student at Guilford College.