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Rising Stars: Meet Aliyah Marcano

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aliyah Marcano.

Hi Aliyah, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
Of course, my name is Aliyah Marcano aka @Alimere_theartist. I’m 16 years old and live in North County, MO. I’m a Fourth of July Baby! Do you know most people have no idea I’m a twin survivor? My twin sister was born 3 weeks prior to me, but Mia did not make it. I wish I could have met her.

I was born at 25 weeks 3 days and weighed 1lb 3ozs. I came out fighting for my life the minute I entered the world. In fact, I was not breathing at all during those four minutes that time seemed to stand still for my parents in the delivery room, as they waited for some sign of hope!

My mother told me, “After what seemed like months had gone by waiting, the NICU doctors were getting ready to call the time of death. And a nurse suddenly got a shallow breath of life that popped out of me!” Nothing but God and his complete presence was in the room for that moment. The doctors told my mother if I make it 48 hours, “I had good chance at survival”. Well, here I am! We have such an AH-Mazing God. God had a whole other plan written out for me.
He knew I was special and wanted me to share my gifts and talents with others in some way.

I started dancing when I was 4 years old. Doing different genres such as: Ballet, Tap, and Jazz, trying to claim the front spot. I danced for several years doing ballet & recitals at local dance schools. 

One day, I visited a local church, and the kids were praise dancing. I looked at my mom and said, “I want to do that!” My mom was always one step ahead of me, she saw the gleam in my eyes. The next thing I knew, she had enrolled me in a Praise Dance class at my dance school (Dance Plus).

For some reason I seemed to be able to remember songs and choreography. I know it’s a gift. I can learn a full dance routine in an hour and perform it successfully without missing a beat. When my mother noticed this, she started putting me in everything that dealt with dance. I even started watching reality dance shows on TV (Bring It), which made me want to go from praise dance ministry to the majorette world of dancing. My mother was against it.

My mom knew I was not satisfied with just Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Praise Ministry, she asked me in the car one day on the way home from practice, “What do you want to do Aliyah?” Currently in my life, I was knee-deep in teaching/ choreographing my church’s (Prospect Hill Missionary Baptist, presiding Pastor Darian Jones) praise team along with my mother. Teaching taught me patience. And at the same time, it made me more confident in my own abilities.

I had mastered enough technique to be dangerous in several different genres of dance. All the different training I had received led me to my focus of being a Performing Artists and sharing my talent throughout the community and in other states. I started performing for Rock the Community events, Fashions Shows, Weddings, Churches and received the opportunities to open for major artists in and out of town.

In 2018 I was performing at a show, and a play writer by the name of Marcia West noticed me in Memphis. She loved my dancing and asked me to choreograph an opening dance for her play and several more songs as well for the play. At 13 years old I couldn’t believe I had been asked to do this for a traveling stage play. Mrs. West also offered me a role in her stage play called, “Darknezz of The Da Streetz”. At this point I had no acting skills whatsoever. But my memory skills were great. So, I accepted the supporting actress role in the play.

My mother now became my manager. She enrolled me in acting classes and insisted I train with the one and only Michael Jones for modeling. I’m now a signed actress/model for Images Agency Models & Actors in St. Louis. I’m a signed actress/model/dancer for Teamfocusedstl Productions as well.

I’m a member of the MGAG (Missouri Gospel Announcers Guild) & NAGPM (National Association of Gospel Promoters and Managers). And recently have become a brand ambassador model for Soulful Illusion Studios (Owner/CEO Brandi Thomas) as a part of her KP Project. I’m in several short films that are coming soon this year, that I’m proud to be a part of. Thanks to my new manager Christopher R Daniels. Chris is not only my manager, but he is also the writer and director of the films. 

God continues to bless me and I’m staying busy. I’m praying for that Golden Ticket. You know the big break. I continually just keep my faith in God, and I believe what is to be, will be. I know I’m only 16 years old, however; I have big dreams, and No One will take that from me. I know God saved me for a great purpose and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead. 

Living in St. Louis is hard because even though people see you and know how talented you are, you must be great because it’s so much talent in this city.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Being born a micro preemie has caused some delays I’ve had to overcome in life and even in school. Losing my grandmother last year in 2021, has most definitely affected me a lot.  She was one of my biggest supporters and I miss her a lot. Sponsorship is a challenge. Being an artist requires a lot and is hard due to traveling, photo shoots, outfits, etc. You must stay dedicated and continue to market yourself, so you don’t get overlooked, because this city has so many talented youths. I just want to be successful no matter what I do and want to be able to help my mother. This is where that patience comes into play.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m a solo praise dancer that ministers by way of technique and my emotions. I try to tell a story when I perform. I know people are going through a lot now days. Losing family and friends. Economical and spiritual losses. I can feel people’s pain and hurt I hope in some way my dance ministry is blessing them.  

I love makeup, so I self-taught myself and do this in my spare time. Even created a business name for me called, “Layers of Luxury” on Instagram. One of my goals is to own a Spa/Boutique focusing on aesthetics and makeup. I’m currently in Cosmetology classes at my Tech School. Once I graduate next year, I will continue on to get my Bachelors in Business.

I’m extremely excited to announce my brand AH-Mazing AM launches this month. It’s a clothing line and it means just what you think. Versus saying, “amazing” put the emphasis on it and say, “AH-Mazing”. I truly believe I’m doing some AH-Mazing things right now.

Recently I was chosen to be an actress for the Anime of Evolution production, casted as Katana. Production starts in about a month. I wish I could expand more on the upcoming films to which I’m also part of with Teamfocusedstl Production, but I’m held to secrecy. I can say that Netflix could be a possibility, stay tuned!!!! Let’s just say, “exciting things to come in the acting world part of my life”.

I’m grateful for everything I have been able to accomplish over the last several years.  

Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
Performing on the Dr. Bobby Jones Gospel Impact TV show was awesome, and I knew my grandparents were in the audience and proud of me. As a teen being a part of New York Fashion Week at 16 years old was AH-Mazing to me.

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Instagram: @alimere_theartist
  • Facebook: Ali Mere @alileemir

Image Credits

Jim Trotter, Trey Bragga,, A.g. Shaw, and @metrophoto_entertainment

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