16-year-old Zendaya, star of Disney Channel’s “Shake It Up”, is the youngest contestant ever in Dancing with the Stars. She says she seized the opportunity because it’s something “different and out of my comfort zone.” Also, she wanted to please her grandma, who is a “super fan” of “DWTS.”
Zendaya has done a lot of dancing for Shake It Up, but she and her co-star Bella Thorne have mainly engaged in hip-hop dances.
“Some people have assumed that I’ll just naturally do well, but the styles of dancing are so different. There are more rules, more concerns about posture and elegance,” she says. “In some ways, it’s even harder for me. I have to unlearn things, start from scratch and kind of erase what’s in my head.”
Zendaya was born on on September 1, 1996 in Oakland, California to Kazembe Ajamu Coleman and Claire Stoermer.
Her mother, Claire, is a teacher at Oakland Unified School District. She also works as the House Manager of the California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda since 1998, in addition to training at the theater’s student conservatory program. Zendaya has performed in many stage productions at her mother’s workplace and also has helped her seat patrons and sell raffle tickets to benefit the theater.
Claire Stoermer has six children: Zendaya, two older sons, two older daughters and one young boy. She is of Dutch descent. Claire attended the Santa Clara University from 1983 to 1987.
Claire is often recording videos of Zendaya. She sent her mom a message last Mother’s Day:
“Even though I’m in Europe, a million miles away from my mommy, I want her to know that I am so incredibly thankful for all she does for me, she’s sways there and has the biggest, warmest heart of gold and can’t wait to hurry up and get home to give her the biggest hug ever!! I love you mommy, and I may not say it enough but thank you!!!”