When the name “Lady Gaga” is brought up, people instantly think of elaborate outfits, over the top performances, and catchy number one hits. For Montana Efaw, she is the boss and fellow performer, as Montana shares the stage with her at every concert and performance. A Lakeridge alumni Montana had a passion for dance at an early age.
“She used to watch MTV and one day showed me a dance she made up to a Britney Spears’ song,” said mom Wendy Efaw.“I had no idea she could dance until then.”
After being enrolled in her first dance class, hip-hop, Montana’s dance career took off.
“Hip-hop was her first love and she had a natural ability for it but she knew she needed technique as well if she wanted to be the best she could,” said Wendy. At 12 years old she came to Dancevision, a studio in Oregon City, and the next year was placed on one of their elite company teams, which she continued until age 15.
“It was around that time, age, 15, that I knew what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I feel fortunate that I was able to know what I wanted to do at such a young age,” said Montana Efaw.
“Montana was one of the hardest workers at the studio,” remembers Annie Johnson, a fellow Dancevision dancer, “everyone looked up to her because she not only was extremely talented and you wanted to dance like her, she was so nice to everyone.”
Montana was fortunate enough to be picked up The Pulse and Monsters of Hip Hop, travelling on the weekends getting paid to dance as a part of The Pulse’s elite Protégé program.
“We were gone 22 weekends a year and unfortunately Montana did have to miss school which was hard, it was up to 30 days a year,” said Wendy, “luckily she was really good at time management so still managed a good GPA even with all the dancing she was doing.”
Montana enforced the idea of time management being key to managing her high school and dance career at the same time.
“I know time was scarce so whenever I could I was doing homework because I wanted to be able to be able I promised my parents I would keep my grades up and I still wanted to be able to give 100 percent on the weekends dancing, “ said Montana.
Upon graduating from LHS, Montana moved to LA, auditioning right away for gigs to follow her dream of becoming a professional dancer.
“When asked what her plans were for after high school Montana said ‘I’m going to give life a try’,” said Wendy, “there really was no Plan B. She knew she was going to dance.
“It was kind of crazy moving to LA because I went straight to life after high school. I had to deal with things like bills and rent,” said Montana.
At the audition for the 2009 VMAs Montana not only got the job for the VMAs but ended up with the career she still carries out today, being a dancer for Lady Gaga.
“I was so lucky because it was only four months living in LA before I go the job with Gaga, becoming so involved with work made the transition to being out on my own a lot easier.”
Travelling with Lady Gaga has brought some truly amazing opportunities. Montana has traveled to more than 70 countries, doing shows all over the world.
“I want to continue with her [Lady Gaga] for as long as I can, she is my first priority,” said Montana. “working with her is a dream, and better than anything I could’ve expected.” Montana hopes to eventually become a choreographer but intend to keep on dancing for as long as she possibly can.