Fash Forward Detroit

Shatarra Shazier, Supermodel On The Rise

There’s always that one person in the family who is distinct from all the others. On March 29, 1994, the Shazier family welcomed their newcomer. Shatarra Shazier was born at Hutzel Hospital in Detroit, MI. Her mother, Ericka Shazier, knew from birth that her daughter was going to be an extraordinary child. She was Ericka’s only child, so this made her even more special. Ericka had no idea what she was in for.


As a toddler, Shatarra loved the art of music. Aaliyah was one of her favorite artists. Not only did Tarra like to sing her music, she loved to dance to it also. By the age of 7, her mother had recognized her talent and her passion for dance. Immediately, Ericka started searching for a dance school for Tarra to attend. Ericka knew that this would require a lot of time and money. Luckily she wasn’t alone. Ericka had been dating Juan Willis since Shatarra was 6. He did a lot for Tarra and took care of her as if she was his own. For this, Shatarra looked at him as her father and had appreciated everything he did for her. While Ericka was still on her search, Tarra was in grade school being a bookworm. She attended Carleton Elementary School where she excelled in every subject. It was like schoolwork came easy to her. As soon as she would get home, she’d do her homework and head straight outside. School was never a problem for her and her straight A report cards proved just that. Her teachers and her family couldn’t be more proud of her.

At age 8, Tarra had begun dancing with Passions Community Dance House. Her first instructor, Cydara White, taught the hip hop class. She was a very unique dancer and Tarra had hoped to become as good as her one day so she practiced and worked really hard. Tarra earned her spot in the front of every dance. When her mother was late picking her up, she would sit in the adult practices, learn their dance, and practice with them. That’s when Cydara had perceived Tarra’s talent. After one year of dancing with the company, they wanted her back. They offered her a scholarship that would pay for some of her uniforms for the next year. This news had the Shazier family ecstatic. In her second year of dancing with Passions, Tarra had noticed more people and more instructors. She now had a teacher for ballet, tap, and modern jazz. Of course she had excelled in these classes too and was placed in the front for every performance. By age 10, she was given the opportunity to audition at Marygrove College. There was going to be a big performance in the summer and Cydara wanted her to be in it. She was never nervous about meeting or performing in front of new people. She had performed in front of large crowds and small crowds from Cobo Hall to school talent shows. When she performed in front of the judges they fell in love with her immediately. They sent her a letter letting her know that they wanted her to attend the rehearsals. Unfortunately, her family couldn’t afford what they were asking for. This didn’t stop her from dancing though.

When Shatarra was 11, she performed at Marygrove College for the last time with Passions. Cydara was going to be moving to L.A. soon to pursue her own dreams. Everyone felt like this was the end, but God had a plan for Tarra so to her this was only the beginning. In 2005, Tarra had started going to church with her Grandma, her aunt, and her cousins. After two weeks of attending church, Tarra decided to give her life to the Lord and become a member of Samaritan Missionary Baptist Church. She was excited about this so right away she joined every ministry she could. She joined the choir, the dance ministry, and even the usher board. This may have seemed like a lot for a 12 year old but it was what Shatarra wanted to do. She had a passion for dancing and singing, and didn’t mind serving those who needed help. Tammie Pinkston was Shatarra’s dance instructor at church. She was very versatile and every dance she created told a story. Tammie hadn’t come up with these exclusive ideas herself though. She looked to her dancers often for their opinions and Tarra was always one to give her input. That’s why every concert was a success. Eventually Tammie left, but the dance ministry is still going on with a wonderful new instructor. If you know Shatarra, you know she didn’t just stop there.

shatarra7When Shatarra was in high school she was very athletic and showed this by participating in sports like cheer, basketball, track & field, and dance. Her motivation was her family. They supported her in everything. There were a couple of times though, when she couldn’t participate because of her grades. She decided to get that together first because she didn’t like the feeling of being left out. Shatarra began her senior year cheering but soon left to dance for basketball season. At the end of the basketball season the cheer and dance teams united for the first time in Harper Woods history, to perform for the last home game. It was a success and Shatarra couldn’t have been happier. Her senior year was rocky but she stuck it out and graduated with a 3.2 GPA. Even then she wasn’t done learning. Over the past summer, Tarra kept busy by attending a machinist training program through Focus Hope. She was the youngest and only girl in her class and that motivated her even more to finish. Tarra was well liked by the staff and the students there. She got to work on many different machines, learned how to use different measuring tools, how to read and make blueprints, and how to write programs. Her class had started off with 26 people but only 12 graduated. Shatarra was one of the dozen to receive her certificate. Soon after, she was on a search for a job in the CNC field. While waiting to hear from employers, her mother had informed her about a casting call for a fashion show. Shatarra had never modeled before but she thought this would be an amazing experience so she gave it a shot. She had no idea she would be chosen to walk in the Glitz & Glam fashion show. When she told her family they were all excited and couldn’t wait to see her. None of this would have been possible without them.

Glam House Productions partnered with Detroit CEO Magazine to offera great incentive for models who were chosen to participate in the 2012 Glitz & Glam Fashion event at the Masonic Temple in Downtown Detroit. For the model that sold the most tickets, a reward of a full page feature in Detroit CEO Magazine (online) was offered to the winning model. Not only did Shatarra win our hearts, but the hearts of those in attendance of this years exclusive fashion event! (photo credits: Vince Hollaway, Pearl Magazine).


Shatarra will be 19 next year and has already accomplished so much. She’s danced and sang in front of many people, graduated high school, graduated from a CNC machinist training program, and walked a runway as a supermodel. She has received many awards, trophies and medals for her athleticism and outstanding achievements. She plans to further her education and start college in January at Henry Ford, majoring in engineering. For Shatarra, this is only the beginning of her adventure to the top. She has many hopes of becoming successful. One of her mavorite music quotes are a representation of her awesome life thus far,“Dreams are hopeless aspirations in hopes of comin’ true. Believe in yourself, the rest is up to me and you” –Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez.

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