Named after writer Maya Angelou, Mýa Marie Harrison was one of three children born to African-American Sherman, a musician and singer, and Italian American Theresa Harrison, an accountant, in Washington, D.C.She grew up in nearby suburban Maryland with her two younger brothers Chaz and Nijel. Her mother worked as an accountant and her father sang with a number of bands in the area. Mýa took violin lessons throughout her childhood, but dancing was her primary after-school activity.
She took ballet lessons from the age of two and added jazz and tap dancing lessons to her schedule two years later. She entered some dance competitions with her brother as a partner, and then joined the Tappers With Attitude troop as a ten-year-old. Her tap dancing skills led to an opportunity to study with one of the best-known tap dancers in the country, Savion Glover of the Dance Theater of Harlem, when he came to Washington for a workshop. Glover later chose Mýa for a solo spot in a dance performance at the Kennedy Center.
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