You may recognise Anthony ‘BB’ Kaye from E4’s modelling show Dirty Sexy Things, but he was on your TV screens as one of the UK’s fiercest dancers long before! At over 6ft tall, with a chiselled face to die for, the 26-year-old multitalented dancer-model is as charming as he is handsome, and he has bags of energy.
Born in Zaire, Africa, BB moved to Geneva, then Paris, finally settling in London with his mother at the age of five. Not just talented creatively, BB was a bit of a wonder boy, with a thirst for knowledge. He studied English Literature, Media and Performing Arts at St Charles Catholic Sixth Form and was obsessed with film. A career behind the camera, in production, was his vision for the future; even becoming a teacher crossed his mind. Yet he found himself in front of the camera.
With no professional training in dance or any aspirations of becoming a model, his whole career was one big accident! The plan of going to college and then university went out the window when BB found himself following his college friend, So You Think You Can Dance judge Sisco Gomez, to an audition for support. Little did he know that soon he’d be in the best hotels, and dancing and rubbing shoulders with celebs like Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, Suzi Quatro and Jocelyn Brown.
‘If it wasn’t for Sisco I wouldn’t be here; I ended up auditioning that day too,’ says BB. ‘I think I was destined to do this; maybe that’s why I’m dancing instead of teaching or in media. It’s given me so much enjoyment and I’m quite good!’
Despite the fact it was time to head to uni, an opportunity of a lifetime presented itself. How could he turn down the chance to dance on tour with singer Kylie Minogue for one whole year! Of course, returning to education later was a must…. however, one tour led to another tour, and many more tours after that.
‘I was like, oh God, let me try this dancing stuff,’ says BB. ‘I was terrible in the beginning, but got booked anyway. I started dancing from the age of 17, I had no training whatsoever. I was determined to make it! I took loads of classes at Pineapple, I danced for Dance 2xs, Sisco’s company. I then started to get booked. I worked with Kylie, Will Young, Black Eyed Peas, Mariah Carey, and it progressed from there. I wanted to eat, sleep and breathe dance. I went on to work with Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, Alexandra Burke, Leona… so it’s gone on till it became my full-time profession.’
While on tour with Will Young, an 18-year-old BB often kept boring costume fittings alive: running around in his undies, making horse noises, was just one of many ways he entertained everyone. With his model looks and muscular legs, the comparison to Black Beauty was perfect. The name stuck.
Dance has taken BB around the world, offering opportunities most can only dream of. While dancing at the Birmingham Clothes Show Live, he was scouted by Storm Models, hence his newfound love for modelling. He has since won contracts for campaigns for Tesco F&F and James Tudor, plus numerous shoots for internationally renowned companies.
‘I got the Dirty Sexy Things E4 booking through Storm,’ says BB. ‘At the time I didn’t really wanna be on a TV show; I’ve been in this industry a long time to know being on TV isn’t all it’s made out to be. I was touring at the time, but new to Storm and didn’t want to upset them, so I went to the casting. I had one interview, and without sounding like an arrogant prick, I really charmed them and the rest is history.
‘I’m really enjoying modelling, but the two professions can’t really coexist because of the dedication and specific time that needs to be devoted to each. You can end up losing both model and dance jobs, so I’m trying to give more time and focus to my modelling. I’m only doing really reputable jobs in terms of dancing. I recently danced for Christina Aguilera at the Michael Jackson Forever Tribute in Cardiff; that was great.’
Not everyone can strut their stuff on a catwalk lined with the industry’s finest. You have to unleash your inner Sasha Fierce, something BB is set on doing. ‘I want to be the male equivalent of Naomi Campbell and Lara Stone, I think big! I wanna be loved by Dolce & Gabbana.
Follow BB Kaye on Twitter