Nikeva Marie Stapleton
Nikeva, a Chicago native with West Indian roots, is a professional actor, model, and dancer. As a child, she trained in ballet, jazz, and tap; then at 16, she joined a Chicago dance company and added modern, contemporary, and hip-hop to her skillset. Determined to further hone her talents, Nikeva was accepted into The Ailey School/Fordham University BFA Program in NYC. While in college, she performed repertoire by legends Bill T. Jones and Ronald K. Brown, and danced in Alvin Ailey's "Memoria" with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at New York City Center.
As a professional dancer, Nikeva has twirled on stages from the MET Opera to Jubilee! in Vegas, as well as on TV performances from the Today Show to Tidal x Brooklyn. She has been a part of iconic music videos, like David Bowie’s last project “Blackstar”, and Beyoncé’s "Pretty Hurts” & “Formation”. Performing live with artists such as Jennifer Lopez and Chris Brown have been major thrills during Nikeva’s dance career - the most memorable moment being Beyoncé’s Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show performance.
Nikeva moved to LA in 2015 to pursue an acting career in television and film. She has since appeared in Spike Lee’s feature films Chiraq, BlacKKKlansman, and Netflix' series She's Gotta Have It, as well as Marlon Wayans' film Naked and NBC's sitcom Marlon. Next up, Nikeva will play ‘Evelyn’ in upcoming BET series American Soul.
Aside from her performing arts career, Nikeva is a fitness, fashion, and commercial model, having worked for such companies as Balenciaga, Nike, Adidas, Fila, Athleta, and more.
Outside of performing, Nikeva is passionate about her Caribbean roots. Her paternal family hails from the small island of Nevis, and spreads throughout the eastern Caribbean. Nikeva has always wished to share her love for the performing arts through educational outreach and festival programming in this region. She is currently a teaching artist for Art Saves Lives, a foundation that hosts a summer art intensive in St. Maarten. Nikeva aspires to become a cultural ambassador for the arts in the Caribbean, with the intention of preserving traditional West Indian artistic culture, while introducing lesser known art forms to the islands and its people. She believes exposure to new concepts, coupled with opportunities to actively engage in the expression of art, leads to overall cultural enrichment; therefore, she strives to promote this philosophy wherever it is absent.
"I had to trust life, since I was young enough to believe that life loved the person who dared to live it." - Maya Angelou