Parker Kit Hill has found a unique way of expressing himself through his various creative projects and on social media that leaves the internet wanting more. As a trained ballet dancer, Hill combines his background in dance with acting, modeling, and a quirky sense of humor to produce memorable works, which are as much a work of art as they are a reflection of his personality.
To learn more about his story and one-of-a-kind personal style, we hit the streets of New York City in some of spring's freshest fits, including the all-new adidas ZX 2K Boosts. We spoke to him about how he got into dance, what he's learned along the way, and got his advice for creatives looking to follow in his footsteps.
How did you discover dance and what attracted you to it?
I first discovered dance when I was, I would say, in middle school, probably 2008. At that time I wasn't classically trained or anything. I was just a choir kid, I loved choir. My choir teacher, she worked at a musical theater company and she was like, "You should come and audition for our company and see what it's like. I think you'd like it.” And of course I was like, “OK, I'm going to do it.” I went to auditions and realized that everyone there could dance, but I was a horrible dancer.
I had two left feet. I could not dance for anything. I would be just a mess in the corner. I would choose to just chill. But my teacher was like, "I think you could actually do this if you want to study and take extra ballet classes and see where it goes." And so I took her advice and I stopped musical theater and stopped singing. I just got super, super serious about ballet, and ballet just kind of took over and I ended up doing it all through high school.
I traveled, I danced with companies, and at this time I was so serious about dance that it was my entire life. I learned all different forms of dance, which is great. And then I ended up getting into a ballet school here in the city and I did that for three years and it was super intense. I realized that it just made sense for me because dance turned into an outlet. I felt like I could really connect with my body and feel free. It was very free, I loved it.
What has dance taught you about life that you didn’t expect it to?
I feel like something that I learned, just in general, is being consistent, and also listening and paying attention to people's body language. It's given me this weird sixth sense about people. That's why I can pick up on a lot of things in that regard, which is nice.
Also taking care of myself, making sure that I have everything I need. I'm eating properly. And outside of that I just wasn't that kind of person, I would neglect myself all the time before dance because I was so busy. But dance kind of helped me pull away from that and be better.
Tell me about how dance started intersecting with the other creative outlets in your life, like modeling and comedy.
I feel like it all just kind of happened naturally. I feel like dance is a part of everything, I don't think we realize it. Modeling and comedy and acting, everything, it's always about body movement, and if you can study the art of movement then you're going to be a step ahead. For me, it was just an advantage and it kind of helped me get to the next stage because I already had that in my body.
I didn't have to worry about someone really directing me and telling me, "Oh, do this, do that." I already have an understanding of how my body looks because I'm used to assessing my body in a mirror all day. And so when it came to being on set and the director kind of gives me his initial vibe, what he wants, I knew how to do it or I could work with it because I've studied it. I feel like I've studied so many different forms of movement to where I could channel anything.
How does your dance background influence your style?
So dance really does influence my style in a way, because I'm obsessed with legs and arms and ankles and feet and hands. And so I'm always trying to accentuate those features on my body. When it comes to pants and things, I love really skinny jeans, but a bell bottom or something, too, because then it gives you a shape and a form when you're walking. I love wearing silk because silk is always moving, but your body is still on the inside. So it's just creating a shape within that.
And then with hands, I love getting my nails done because it adds that extra piece to your hands to make it more striking and it gives it that extra thing and shoes and things like that. I love me a heel because I can wear them. Thank God I have strong ankles. So that's something that dance, it helped me with that.
Tell me a little bit about the photoshoot you did with us in New York City.
That entire shoot, it was such a beautiful day. I loved working with everyone on the set. We kind of just ran around. I was running around and had a full set of people around me holding the light piece. And we had music playing. We just kind of stopped traffic. And I was running around, jumping through the street with the adidas on and it was just great. I felt very comfortable, and the movement I would say it was super, super freeform. It was nothing too classical and technical. It was just kind of my self-expression. I felt very comfortable and in tune with myself during that day in particular.
What did you think of the adidas ZX 2K Boosts? How did they work for you on a functional level and on a style level?
So the shoe itself, it was great because it was super, super soft. That was one thing I noticed and the insoles were very thick and I felt like my foot was supported the entire time, and also my entire foot could bend in it. There wasn't anything stiff about the shoe, I hate a stiff shoe. The entire time dancing, I could go on relevé and kind of do everything without any hesitation because the shoe itself was so malleable, and so I felt good. I could jump and bounce and I felt supported. And I think I had three different pairs of shoes that I was switching around in and it was just easy. It didn't really feel like I was wearing shoes, honestly. I thought I was wearing socks the entire time. It was great.
What do you look for in a sneaker?
The thing that really attracts me to a sneaker is, functionality one, I need to be able to just wear it. And two, it just has to look unique. I love a unique shoe. Something that's not normal. I need something that has personality and character.
For all the creatives out there who are looking up to you – particularly those who belong to marginalized groups – what advice do you have for them?
I would say to try and find your chosen family, find the people who support you. Don't go around looking for people who aren't really there for you, find people who support your work and want to see you succeed. And that's just the number one step for me. And I feel like everything after that, it just falls into place naturally.
And be consistent with your work and staying true to who you are and also learning how to accept no sometimes. That's something that a lot of people don't talk about, but I've heard a lot of nos. I'm always hearing a no, but there's always that one yes. If you're patient – and it's about being patient – it doesn't happen overnight. I mean, I've been doing this probably nine years, a long time, a really long time and it's still a journey. It's always going to be a journey. You're never going to feel fully comfortable with yourself. You have to be ready to just pack up everything and switch gears if need be. But if you're consistent within yourself during all of that, then you're fine.