Performing has played a leading role throughout the life of Sharifa Smith (born Zaandam, The Netherlands) and it’s continuing to play it’s part by being a professional performing artist up to date.
At the age of one-and-a-half Sharifa started attending dance classes at the Lucia Marthas Institute for Performing Arts (Amsterdam). Under the wings of this academy and mentor Lucia Marthas she quickly enrolled into the high-levelled training program for children. As a part of this program, Sharifa was regularly seen live and on TV from the age of three. She was a dancer on shows such as De Mini-Playbackshow (The Netherlands/Germany), Rad van Fortuin, Telekids, Pittig Popconcert, Solo voor een Kind, Kinderen voor Kinderen 20, Bananasplit, Top of the Pops and she joined the choir of German rock sensation The Scorpions at the Expo 2000 in Hannover. She was also to be seen and heard for many years in the opening leader of the popular Dutch children’s TV show: Villa Achterwerk. Aside from dancing and singing Sharifa was a child model for brands such as: Mexx, Bristol, Knippie, A.U.B Stores, Marca, V&D, C&A, Scapino & Makro.
Sharifa continued training dance in various disciplines on an advanced level throughout her childhood and was also introduced to singing at the academy. In 1998 she joined the child cast of the musical ‘De Tijd-Affaire’ written and produced for the 100th year anniversary of the RABO Bank. The show was staged in the Jaarbeurs Utrecht and joined by an audience of 5000 people per night. While being trained as an all-round dancer, Sharifa started taking vocal classes from the age of 12 with singing teacher Marcel Joosen at Fluxus, Zaandam.
Mentored by Marcel Joosen, Sharifa entered the 2006 Jan Pasveer Music Competition, which she won by displaying her vocal abilities. As part of the prize, Sharifa and Marcel put together a solo show, consisting out of jazz-standards and musical theatre songs, for the Zaantheater in Zaandam.
After graduating from the Vossius Gymnasium in Amsterdam, Sharifa continued her performing arts journey entering the 4-year Bachelor program at the LMIPA. During her dance-musical theatre study she completed internships at Dinnershow Novomundo; joining the Holland Show Ballet (Wentink Events), André’s Nieuwe Revue (Stage Entertainment), Jiskefet – Heb je nog geneukt? Tour (Heineken Music Hall) and Jiskefet – Goeiesmorgens de Musical (Heineken Music Hall).
She appeared live and on TV in shows such as: Gouden Loekie, 3FM Awards, Million Dollar Wedding, Sponsor Loterij; De Grootste Bingo Ooit, De Musical Awards, Erica Yong Collective and as a dancer for Babette van Veen’s Vertrouwelijk. She toured as a MC and wrote the lyrics to the show ‘4 Elements’, initiated by the Dutch government for Nature & Environmental education.
Sharifa trained in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Tap, HipHop, Pop Show Musical dance, Musical repertoire, Vocal technique, Vocal performance and Ensemble/Choir singing. This was supported by a variety of theoretical classes including; art history, dance history, music theory, dance analysis and anatomy.
She has been a long time student with vocal teacher Jimmy Hutchinson up until this day.
In 2008 she joined Lionel Richie on stage as a dancer for his concert series Symphonica in Rosso and so did she in 2009 with Diana Ross’s Symphonica in Rosso. 70.000 people attended the 2 concerts of Diana Ross and Lionel Richie appeared 4 times at the Gelredome arena in Arnhem. 2009 ended with a bang performing on New Year’s day with The Sugarhill Gang on Dutch television.
Sharifa graduated with a BA in Dance from the Lucia Marthas Institute for Performing in Arts in 2011.
She landed her first professional job as a background singer and vocal coach on the Kinderen voor Kinderen Songfestival tour in 2011.
After completion of her study Sharifa went to New York to take jazz-singing classes with Nancy Marano. After her return she started her second tour for the Kinderen voor Kinderen Songfestival (2012), where she also became involved as a creative. Following this tour she appeared as a singing and dancing coach on Kinderen voor Kinderen’s tv show ‘De Juf en Meester Battle’ which aired in 2012 on Dutch television. In 2013 Sharifa was only involved as a creative for her third Kinderen voor Kinderen Songfestival tour.
2012 was also the year Sharifa returned to the musical theatre stage originating the role of Lola in the national tour of ‘Yab Yum – Het Circus van de Nacht’ (Stardust Theatre Productions). The musical, a mixture of theatre and circus, depicted the rise and fall of high-end world famous Amsterdam based brothel Yab Yum. Aside from playing Lola, Sharifa also covered the roles of Bambi and Twiggy. Yab Yum’s opening night was on the 29th August at the prestigious royal theatre Carré in Amsterdam.
Followed up by her national tour Sharifa got assigned as a Lead Soloist singer with Aida Cruises. In 2013 she embarked on the Aida Sol to play a variety of 14 shows including her self-created solo program ‘Elegy for Love’. After 6 months at sea, Sharifa returned to land in 2014. She then decided to take some time out to brush up her skillset and continue developing and growing as an artist. In 2014 she was accepted into the ‘Summer Professional Musical Theatre Training Program’ at CAP21, New York, were she spend 6 weeks intensifying her artistry.
Since leaving school Sharifa has worked, and continues working, as a freelance singer, dancer, actress, model and creative for employers such as: Triumph, Vodafone, YC Jewels, Asics, Miljoenenjacht, Toppers in Concert, Equine Elite and as a singer for private parties and events.
“Thank you for taking the time to have a look at my work and website. The best is yet to come!”
As you probably can see RCMKmedia and I updated the website and tried to make it even easier for you to navigate. We start fresh and with a brand new lay out, but unfortunately the previous posts will not be accessible anymore. It just means we’ll make a restart with the blog (harder, better, faster, stronger) so keep an eye on it! Soon there will be new updates about my whereabouts and you can also stil follow me on Instagram and Facebook. In case of personal inquiries don’t hesitate to send me an email (to be found on the contact page). Lots of love, Sharifa