Tisiphani Mayfield, CBS News Producer and entrepreneur, realized her passion at a young age. Attending some of the top performing arts school in the midwest to being captain of the Milwaukee Bucks cheerleading squad.
With an impressive resume, Mayfield is now seeking to give back to the community through her dance studio, Dynamic Dance LLC. I sat down with her to get the scoop on her road to success.
MILWAUKEE COURIER: What was your experience like at the Milwaukee High School of the Arts?
Tisiphani Mayfield: It was awesome, I experienced a dance style I’d never heard of. It opened my eyes to how big the world is to actually dancing. I loved it.
MC: Did you notice your passion for dancing through school?
TM: No, it was actually earlier than that. I started dancing for Yale Dance Studio in Milwaukee which made me want to go to Roosevelt Middle School of the Arts.
The more I experienced at Roosevelt, the more I wanted to dance.
MC: I know you worked at the Kenosha Academy of Dance, were you a teacher there?
TM: I was a teacher there for a short time.
MC: What type of dance did you teach?
TM: Ballet and Hip Hop. I know their totally opposite.
MC: What’s your specialty when it comes to dance?
TM: My specialty is jazz.
MC: How did you end up being the captain of the Milwaukee Bucks?
TM: It’s kind of a funny story. I was in rehearsals with Cedric Gardner and some of the girls were talking about go and I decided to tag along.
It wasn’t even a planned experience. I just went for it and I stayed there for the whole year. I loved it, then I had my baby at the end of the year and came back.
MC: Where are you working now?
TM: : I’m currently at CBS 58.
MC: I know you worked at Fox6 News, how long were you there?
TM: Seven years.
MC: How did you get into journalism, it’s on the end of the spectrum when it comes to dance.
TM: It was a chance to be creative and to use another skill. I’m just a creative person all around and I took one course in college and fell in love with writing.
Q: Who inspires you in your everyday life?
TM: My son is the person who keeps me going. He reminds me there’s a reason to be out here doing what I love. He reminds me that if I don’t do what I am passionate about, then neither will he.
He pushes me to pursue what I really want out of life, because I feel like I have to show him that he can do whatever he wants to.
MC: You previously discussed that you started out dancing but you wanted to be more creative which lead you to journalism. Was there a pivotal moment that made you want to switch your career from dancing to journalism?
TM: I never really stopped dancing. Even when I went to school out in Florida, I danced for Mahogany Dance Theater.
I danced straight through college. We traveled to Florida, Georgia and Alabama area.
Journalism was another outlet for me to be creative, because I was always writing.
When I took this journalism class, because I couldn’t find a place where I felt that I fit in, so I took this one class and it just opened my eyes to a whole new side of myself.
MC: What Advice do you have for young people aspiring to do what you are doing in your career?
TM: Don’t detour. When you see something that you love and you know you’re passionate about it, and you feel can’t breathe without doing it. Don’t let anyone turn you away from what your dreams and aspirations are.
MC: You opened a center for the youth.
TM: Yes I opened a dance studio it’s called Dynamic Dance LLC. Someone needs to nurture that and have a place for these kids to go and be able to afford it. A quality education at an affordable price is kind of hard to beat when it comes to the dance world.
I wanted to be that bridge for those kids, which is why I had to be on third street, because I feel like that’s the heart of Milwaukee’s inner city and these are kids that need it the most.”
MC: What was the motivation for opening up the center?
TM: I been teaching around the area since I moved back. I’ve been going to different dance studios, teaching at different schools in the area and I wanted a place where kids where I’m from can know.
When I was young and I was taking all of these dance classes, it was a financial burden on my family, but they knew how much I loved it. They were willing to pay astronomical fees for me to go.
I was blessed because I had two working parents, who could afford it. I had two loving grandparents who supported me, so basically if I needed some dance shoes, my grandparents would get them.
If I needed to travel to Florida my grandparents would pay for it, or if I needed to go to Chicago my mom would do it, I had a really supportive family.
Not everybody has that, someone needs to nurture that and have a place for these kids to go and be able to afford it.
A quality education at an affordable price is kind of hard to beat when it comes to the dance world.
I wanted to be that bridge for those kids, which is why I had to be on third street, because I feel like that’s the heart of Milwaukee inner city and these are kids that need it the most.
MC: Are there any fees to take classes at Dynamic Dance LLC?
TM: It’s a small fee of $50.00 per month for kids taking one class and if you take two classes it’s $64.00 a month. It’s a third of the price of any other dance studio in Milwaukee and I did that purposely.
I wanted people to think about the benefit of their child being able to get a full months’ worth of less for a third of the price.
That’s a one hour ballet class and still understand that it’s a quality education.
MC: Is there an age requirement?
TM: 3 years old up to teenagers. I also have work out classes for adults. We strength train one day and do restraint cardio the other day.
Adults get six weeks’ worth of work out classes for $25.00 Interview: That’s not bad.
MC: How can we find out more information regarding Dynamic Dance LLC?
TM: I don’t have a website, but I do have a Facebook. You can find us by searching for Dynamic Dance Milwaukee.
MC: What is everyday life like for you?
TM: Busy, busy busy. I get up at 5:30 a.m., get me and my son dressed and drop him off. For the first half of the day I go to CBS until 12:30 and then I go to Lincoln Middle School of the Arts at 1 and teach dance classes until 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Tuesdays and Wednesday I have a cheerleading camp, where I’m working with Premier Athletic Training. Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays I’m at the dance studio.
MC: What do you on the off days to relax?
TM: When I’m not at the studio or teaching ballet for MPS, I am running around with my son to basketball, or football. Right now he’s at orchestra, but I’m constantly moving.
MC: What is one thing you think your fans would be surprised to learn about you?
TM: How much I love it. What I love to do is take that little kid and really push who they are. My focus is dance, but I want kids to be genuine to who they are and let them know they have a place where they can go and be themselves.
It seems like there so many places where kids are taught to sit down, be quiet, act like this, be this person that when they get to one of my classes, I’m like okay here’s the steps now show me how you want to do it.
I try to teach kids that it’s okay to have fun, it’s okay to be different.
MC: What is your long term goal?
TM: My long term goal is to grow Dynamic Dance into a career dance facility. I want to teach the children of our community but to also give jobs. To be able to hire more teachers and hire front staff. I want to have a dance facility where kids can get gymnastics, hip hop, where they can just dance.