Justice

Dakota Adan's Passion Drives His Success As a Las Vegas Dancer for Britney Spears

April 20th 2017

By:
Las Vegas .

LVCVA

Dakota Adan wanted nothing more from life than to be a dancer. And his family wanted nothing more than for him to give it up.

"I came home to a circle of chairs in my backyard, and my parents were there with all my siblings," he recalls about a particular afternoon. "It was an intervention of sorts to get me to stop dancing. To them I was throwing away my talent, my life, my intellect. Of course, I saw that very differently."

Adan didn't listen to his fitness worker mother or his business consultant father. At the age of 18, he went with a friend to a dance studio near his hometown of San Diego. He had no experience and no training. But his passion caught the attention of the studio's director, who took it upon herself to mentor the young man. "I loved it," Adan says. "I left that studio feeling so, so alive."

Adan's perseverance drove him to overcome his family's resistance and the obstacles to a career as a dancer.

And at age 25, Adan has achieved his dream: He is now a professional dancer, one of the hunks backing up Britney Spears in the megastar's "Piece of Me" residency show at The AXIS auditorium at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Adan made his debut on Aug. 14, 2015.

ATTN: talked with Adan recently about the path that led him to Las Vegas.

Q: How would you describe your parents' expectations of what you would do when you grew up?

Adan: My parents made it very clear that academics were important, that college was super important, and [that] I needed to go to college and get a great degree, because I needed to get a great job that had benefits. It was basically the American dream that most parents have for their kids. And so when I told them that I wanted to dance, and I didn't want to go get a degree from a university, I wanted to go start auditioning and be a performing artist, that didn't fly quite well with them.

Q: What did they say?

Adan: Around when I was about to graduate high school, I came home to a circle of chairs in my backyard and my parents were there with all my siblings. It was an intervention of sorts to get me to stop dancing. To them I was throwing away my talent, my life, my intellect. Of course, I saw that very differently. But they thought they knew best. Everyone went around and spoke to me, tried to dissuade me from doing this thing and tried to give me different reasons why I was throwing my life away. Even my little brother said, … "I know you get good grades, and you should definitely go to college." He didn't really understand, but I could tell he was influenced by [my family].

Q: How did you overcome people's doubts about what you were doing?

Adan: I didn't have funds to pay for dance classes. My parents certainly weren't about to support that. So I found myself sneaking into this dance school. And, finally, after about a month, a woman there wanted to talk to me. She asked where I got my training, where I came from, and who I was dancing for. I told her I had no training, I wasn't dancing for anybody; I was just going to classes.

Then she told me she was the director of the studio. My heart just sank right through my butt. But it turns out she had been watching me. She offered me [a] scholarship.

From there, things kind of aligned. A lot of these other kids in the class, they had danced their whole lives, and to them it was just another day. But I treated every single one of the classes as if it were my first and my last. I was putting in all the enthusiasm I could muster, because I enjoyed it so much and had never experienced so much joy in my life before, ... and I think that showed.

Q: How did you get hooked up with Britney Spears' Las Vegas show?

Adan: I happened to be available at the right time when a spot became available. I had auditioned already once before. So they brought me in, and they were looking at all these dancers, and everybody wanted the job so bad. But I was a little more prepared this time.

My life changed instantly from being another struggling artist in Los Angeles to finding my own as a dancer... Vegas is really the only place in the world where you can work as a dancer all year-round, make a living, and still have a semblance of a life... Here in Vegas, and amongst this cast, I really found my family. And I found a group of people who support everything that I want to do and want to be.

Q: Would you say you're successful?

Adan: I actually would say I was very successful as a dancer. I know many people who come out to L.A., and they audition for years and years and years without ever getting to work with artists as amazing as I've worked for, and I feel incredibly blessed. ... But I'd like to think my life story speaks for something more than, "You can be a dancer," and says that, whatever it is — whether it's writing, painting, underwater basket weaving — whatever your passion is about, that you can go out and live a life you really love.

Q: So you're not expecting any more dance interventions from your family?

Adan: (Laughs) Certainly not!

To learn more about how Las Vegas creates safe spaces for people to live out their dream, click here.