Laganja was most recently seen on the Top 33 of So You Think You Can Dance (Season 15) due to her outlandish personality combined with her professional training.
Graduating from The California Institute of the Arts in 2011 with a bachelor of fine arts degree in dance and choreography, Laganja is a skilled choreographer, teacher, and dancer. A Presidential Scholar in The Arts, Laganja performed her original work “not today” at the Kennedy Center in 2007. Laganja is also a YoungArts Silver Winner and returns every year to the program to mentor high school students in Miami, Florida.
In the summer of 2017, Laganja led a dance theatre project on gender expression with artists across Europe assemblling in Nottingham, UK for a four day workshop and showcase exploring the boundaries of gender identity. “G[END]ER” was in collaboration with Backlit Gallery, Kitty Tray, and Nottingham Contemporary. In the fall of 2018, Laganja elaborated on this idea of gender expression with her dance residency at YoungArts. The immersive experience included live vocals, original compositions, and curated set design. Laganja's moves have also been featured on several popular dance YouTube channels including, but not limited to, Brian Friedman and DanceON.
In the fall of 2018, Laganja found herself partnered with the Pérez Art Museum Miami (Pamm) to present the art of drag for a one-day Poplife Social YoungArts Takeover. The event at the world-renowned art museum included an invitation from Laganja herself, “Onto Pamm’s terrace to warm up their dance muscles, ‘sissy that walk’ across the space and participate in a fan dance inspired by traditional Japanese performance.”
The Pamm collaboration came as a part of Laganja’s three-week residency at the National YoungArts Foundation. During this residency, Laganja (Jay Jackson) acted as director, creator and choreographer for a dance project that explored gender and fluidity in an incredibly artful way.
In 2016 Laganja's Dance School, an international high-heels masterclass and confidence workshop, was founded with partner Kristen Lovell. The master class has been held in dozens of cities in the United States and as an international experience, has traveled to Manchester, Nottingham, London, Newcastle, Dublin, Lima, Mexico City, and Amsterdam.
The class includes an extensive warmup/stretch, across the floor exercises, and a final combination of original choreography. Participants are encouraged to express themselves, gain new skills, and feel amazing in this hip-hop oriented jazz funk atmosphere.
Laganja's Dance School is also held weekly at The Basement Center of NoHo in North Hollywood, and a beginning Heels Technique class is held at Downtown Dance and Movement in Downtown Los Angeles. Dancers and non-dancers are encouraged to participate and push the limits of their sassy bodies. Class is taught at a professional level, but all ages and abilities are welcome!
The following YouTube tutorials are a step by step with original choreography featuring popular music as well as original songs by RuPaul's fan favorites. Filmed on green screen, this series is not only instructional but visually enticing. Subscribe to Laganja Estranja on YouTube to get your groove on! #GanjasGrooves