Bold & Beautiful: JordiRoc
Jordan Danielle, aka JordiRoc, is SLC’s resident badass beast, trans and social justice activist and one truly magnificent dancer and body mover. On Instagram, they refer to their self as a “creative queer boi,” and they’ve got a smile wider than the Wasatch Front and voguing and krumping dance skills that, legitimately can SLAY. Not to mention, JordiRoc’s got style for days and is an event curator and birth worker. They truly are a full mood of living one’s truths, honoring one’s body, mind and spirit. JordiRoc is a full 2021 vibe, which is beautiful and a true blessing for all of planet Earth.
SLUG: Tell us a little history about yourself.
JordiRoc: My name is Jordan Danielle, I was born and raised in Plainfield New Jersey and am the youngest of six to my father and youngest of three to my mother. I “came out” to my parents at 15 years old and used to wish I never said anything until much later in life, but grateful that I did. It didn’t make saying I was trans any easier, but it set me and my mother up for continuing the start of a really beautiful, open and honest relationship, a positive transition of a relationship with my brothers and a pivotal moment for me and my father. I am an old soul, deep lover, food enthusiast and cook, friend, child, sibling, visionary, sun child, lover of water, healer—the list continues …
SLUG: Who is an icon who inspires you?
JordiRoc: An icon that inspires me … my grandmother. My grandmother was the shit. I’m confident that there are a lot of people who knew my grandmother that would agree that Florence Jennings-Brown was iconic, baby. She’s the icon that still, to this day, inspires me in so many ways.
SLUG: When and why did you first become interested in dance/body movement?
JordiRoc: I don’t think it was really something I became interested in. I think it was already embedded in me and a part of my reason/purpose for being here. Performing, for me, just felt good, a dramatic kid—still dramatic, in ways—and theatrical being was always in me. If it wasn’t through that, it was always through something else that involved my body, whether that [was] through sports, roughhousing with my brothers or just being physical in some way … I didn’t grow up in a very emotionally expressive family when I was younger, and so movement was my way of expressing how I felt, and sometimes that came across louder than words. Movement was my saving grace, my healing place, became my language of communication and understanding for how I was feeling and what needed to be shifted and moved out.
SLUG: Tell me about your experiences as a trans person in such a conservative place?
JordiRoc: I identify as a nonbinary/genderqueer trans person; I just so happen to look more masculine, as I kind of always have but held androgyny closely and still do. There’s times where I thought of considering myself a man, but in the words of Prince, “I’m not your woman / I’m not your man / I am something / That you’ll never understand”—although the understanding of the complexity of gender is more becoming now. My experience as a trans person started a long-ass time ago, but here in Utah with acknowledging myself fully, it’s been quite OK. I’ve had the luxury of being surrounded by supportive folks.
SLUG: What can we do to better support our trans brothers and sisters in SLC?
JordiRoc: Highlight us. Pay us. Acknowledge that we are human just like everyone else. We need more access to all the things. We need equal care, opportunity for safe and accessible housing. Yo, changing your gender marker is exhausting as fuck … Trans folx are still fighting to be seen as human beings. This is across the board. If you can support trans folks in SLC, you can support trans folks, period, specifically Black trans folks.
SLUG: What do you hope your performances will accomplish for you and the audience when you dance?
JordiRoc: Honestly, me sharing and showing up for myself in that way is an accomplishment, so I’m not really looking for my performance to accomplish anything for the audience because I don’t necessarily do it for them … I just share where I am at presently or what I am going through and hope to bring awareness to something that resonates. I’ve been told that my movement heals and inspires folks, so maybe that answers the question a little better. I’ve been holding that close to my heart.
SLUG: What encourages you to continue to highlight the LGBTQ+ community?
JordiRoc: The simple fact that I am of that community and there is still so much work to be done within it, especially for BIPOC folx. Yo, we hold so much light. We deserve a lot more; we should be supported and have access to a lot more, and we still don’t. There still aren’t safe spaces for folks, secure housing, basic healthcare/healthcare at all that supports all the needs, safe birthing spaces or care, rights and care for sex workers, mad shit. I will always highlight the LGBTQ+ community, specifically BIPOC folk, because we are freaking great. We are people, we have always existed and will always exist no matter what … The LGBTQ+ community holds so much glow, so much light and importance in what makes the various colors of our world go round.
SLUG: Where can people find you online, both through recorded material or live streams?
JordiRoc: Folx can follow me on IG at these accounts: @jordir0c on Instagram for birthwork, and for events, @_asyouare.space_ on Instagram and on the As You Are Facebook page.
SLUG: Anyplace where you people can support your art practice monetarily, where you can get tipped, etc.
JordiRoc: Yes, thank you for asking that. Any monetary contributions can be sent to @jordan-simmons on Venmo, or firstname.lastname@example.org on Paypal.
Editor’s note: The question above about identifying as a trans person was initially asked vis-à-vis identifying as a trans man. We updated the question in the text body to reflect JordiRoc’s genderqueer identity accurately and are including this note for transparency about the original, inaccurate phrasing of the question.
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