West Orange’s Gabrielle Rembert Embraces All Dance Forms

Photo credit: MOVE [NYC] and David Gonsier – Social Media handles: @movenyc @goneserious


By Steve Sears

 18-year-old Gabrielle Rembert’s eyes are currently on many things. 

College applications, for one, as she studies schools she might attend. And then there’s East Rutherford, New Jersey. “That’s my dream venue,” Rembert says. “One of my dream things would probably be to perform at MetLife Stadium, because it’s in New Jersey. That’s where I’m from.”

And her heart is right here. “I just say, ‘Thank you, village.’ You realize, especially at such a young age, how many people it takes to really get done what you really want to get done. So many people have sacrificed so many things and just helped me in so many ways to make my dream come true. I wouldn’t be where I am without them. I thank all the people that have gotten me to where I am now. They continue to help me and support me and push me.”

Rembert, whose mom, Debbie, owns Concepts Dance Academy in South Orange, says, “I thought I knew from age two that this is going to be my thing, right? My mom said at six years old, I came up to her and I restated the whole dialogue from Fame. I told her, ‘This is something I want to do. I want to dance professionally.’ But I think what really drew me towards dance is the excitement on people’s faces when people watch you perform, and the emotion that you can grant to people and have them feel. I think that’s really what brought me to it. I was always a kid who loved to move around, so this was definitely a good spot for me to go towards.”

Rembert, who has performed on Good Morning America and at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting, credits her mom with her work ethic. “My mom is also another person who’s always running around and always working. I think it’s not even just dance, but I think anything I put my mind towards, I need to be at 100%, because why do something if you’re not going to give your all? You’re basically wasting your time and other people’s time.”

Rembert’s mom taught dance at a high school, and often her daughter would be with her, the youngster viewing the on goings on stage. Also, when rehearsals were held at Concepts Dance Academy, Rembert would join the students, seeking to learn their dance moves. “I honestly think it was seeing how good they were, how much they loved what they were doing, and how hard they worked at the craft that really kind of drew me,” Rembert says. “And seeing the success that came from it. Just not even materialistic things, but the joy and the feeling you grow from dance. I think that’s really what also drew me in.” Rembert has many role models in the dance world, and they may not be a name dancer, but someone next to her in a line at a rehearsal or studio. “I just think anybody who draws my attention or makes me feel something, or makes me want to get up and move with them, I automatically consider them a role model. Someone who makes me want to work hard and get to their level is automatically a role model to me, because that’s making myself better as a person in my craft.”

Rembert, who is in her fifth year with Tremaine Performance Company, performs all types of dance, and for this there are a few reasons. “Versatility is a very big thing,” she says, “especially now in the dance community, because you’re able to work more. People can use you for different things. They can say, ‘Hey, can you just pop up and do a pirouette? And then, ‘Hey, can you pop up and give me some grooves with hip hop?’ When you’re able to just do that and switch on a flip of a dime, that’s so much easier to work with. And then, also, I just think it all sounded so much fun. There’s something to learn from each style. There’s a discipline that you learn from each style.”

Rembert is grateful for the embrace of dance. There is nothing else she’d rather do. “I think I just naturally kind of grew into it. It just fit. It’s like putting the puzzle pieces together. It’s like dance with me: we just fit together.”


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