In our city, “soul” isn’t just a word. It’s a feeling, it’s a movement, it’s a vibe. As Memphians, we wear soul with pride. Our city isn’t just the birthplace of musical icons or the city where food, music, and culture come to life.
Our city’s soul is described by generosity that knows no bounds and the thousands of Memphians building community with each other on the daily. It’s the activism that stirring in our hearts, pushing each other and the world to see better and do better. It’s in the limitless innovation fueling insatiable curiosity and so, so much more. Memphis has always been a place of big hearts and even bigger ideas, where the spirit of soul finds its home. So, when you’re seeing your fellow Memphians’ faces across the city, you’re seeing a mirror reflecting our collective pride.
We’ll be sharing stories of how your fellow Memphians connect with our city through food, fitness, music, and so much more! Be sure to keep an eye out for billboards across the city featuring some familiar faces!
Ladia Yates is widely recognized as one of the leading female dancers on the global stage. Her distinctive dance style was shaped during her time in the city where she was first introduced to Memphis jookin. From those beginnings, Ladia’s career has soared, and she has shared her talents alongside renowned artists such as Janelle Monae, NLE Choppa, Missy Elliott, Usher, Lil Baby, and many more.
For many Memphians, the radio is more than just a source of music; it’s a lifeline to the city’s cultural heartbeat. Ladia Yates, an influential figure in Memphis’ dance community, tunes in to two stations that resonate with her: V101 and Hot 107. These stations not only provide a great musical backdrop but also keep her in the loop about the latest events and happenings in the city.
“The vibe and events they’re a part of,” Ladia says, are what she loves most about these stations. They not only play the tunes that get her moving but also connect her with the pulse of Memphis’ vibrant scene.
Ladia’s passion for dance is palpable, and she shares it generously with her students at the L.Y.E Academy. Her love for movement goes beyond teaching; she cherishes the opportunity to dance alongside friends from the Jookin community. Jookin isn’t just a hobby–it’s a deeply ingrained part of the city’s cultural fabric, and Ladia is at the forefront of preserving and promoting it.
Memphis has produced some of the most influential figures in the rap industry, and when it comes to Ladia’s favorite Memphis rapper, it’s none other than Project Pat. Known for his iconic lyrics and style, Project Pat’s music resonates with the raw energy and spirit of Memphis. His contribution to the city’s music scene is undeniable, and his influence extends far beyond its borders.
While Ladia is deeply committed to her own organization, the L.Y.E Academy, she also recognizes the impactful work of others in the community. One such organization that has earned her respect is the Memphis Youth Arts Initiative (M.Y.A.I). This organization plays a vital role in nurturing young talent in Memphis, providing opportunities for artistic expression, and fostering creativity among the city’s youth.
Amidst her busy schedule, Ladia still finds time for self-care, and one of her favorite places to indulge is Buff City Soap. This local gem offers an array of bath and body products, allowing Memphians to pamper themselves with high-quality, locally-made goods. It’s a testament to Memphis’ entrepreneurial spirit and the commitment to excellence that characterizes the city’s artisans.
Ladia’s journey through Memphis is a testament to the city’s energy and the multitude of ways it inspires the people who live and create here. In celebrating what parts of the city connect with Ladia, we catch a glimpse of the talent, culture, and community that makes this city the soulful place that we know and love.