Korra Obidi is a Nigerian princess, born into a royal family from Oshimili North of Delta state, who left home to pursue her dreams of dancing. She attended the University of Lagos, where she went through dance training, and learned belly dancing in Dubai, Muscat, and Cairo. She eventually made her way to the United States, got married, and is pregnant with a baby girl. But that hasn’t slowed her down at all; she recently auditioned for the hit show “So You Think You Can Dance,” where she stunned the panel of judges as she performed with her visibly pregnant belly.
“If I can just create a shift in my people, that’s my life goal. Where I’m from, it’s not accepted to dream like that,” she said in her audition. “I want every young girl in Nigeria to see that you can do anything that you want to do if you put your mind to it, pregnant or not.” During what she called her “duet audition” because of her daughter, Obidi set the stage on fire, the audience cheering as she leapt and performed splits.
“You are a world-changer, a systems-breaker,” judge Laurieann Gibson said. “There is so much purpose in your choices. I mean, I couldn’t even think of being pregnant and dancing!” Lead judge Nigel Lythgoe added, “You are inspiring to women. Just because you’re having a baby doesn’t mean you should stop doing what you love. And that’s wonderful.”
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Obidi had to overcome her family’s disapproval in order to pursue her dreams. “I lived a very sheltered life as a child. I was never allowed to play with the other kids. I had private tutors for almost everything,” she said in an interview with Punch, a Nigerian news outlet. “It was tough. I had to pave my way initially. I used to hide it from them. Over time, they decided there was nothing they could do to quench my passion for entertainment.”
While Obidi didn’t make it to the next round of the competitions, the judges urged her to come back and audition again. And for Obidi, the experience was worth it, saying of her baby girl, “Performing on that stage was miraculous, and I’m happy that I got to experience it with her.”
Women are constantly told that children get in the way of accomplishing their dreams, and that abortion is needed for women to be successful. But Obidi proves the naysayers wrong; mothers don’t have to choose between their children and their careers.
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