Top 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Zendaya

Script written by Nick Spake This young performer certainly knows how to shake it up! For this list, we’re taking a look at interesting trivia regarding this actress/singer/dancer. Did you know that her parents about both teachers? While she likely would’ve been a stellar educator, her mom also worked at the California Shakespeare Theater, causing Zendaya to catch the acting bug at a young age. When Zendaya decided to chase her dream of performing her parents showed full support, taking time off work to drive their daughter to auditions. Did you know that she she formed a cheetah girls group? Her aspirations ultimately became a reality, as Zendaya would go on to star in multiple Disney Channel Original Movies, scoring major roles in “Frenemies” and “Zapped.” Isn’t that so Raven? And finally did you know that she is an UN ambassador for HIV and AIDS? Zendaya is a UNAIDS ambassador. Speaking with Glamour, Zendaya noted that cases of HIV and AIDS have increased in the US for the first time since 1993. Zendaya not only encourages people to get tested, but to protect, appreciate, and love yourself.
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Top 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Zendaya

This young performer certainly knows how to shake it up. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Zendaya.

For this list, we’re taking a look at interesting trivia regarding this actress/singer/dancer.

#5: Her Parents Are Both Teachers

Although she’s on the cusp of superstardom, Zendaya could’ve taken a much different career path. Both of her parents are teachers, and growing up, Zendaya spent a lot of time in her mom’s classroom, reading to children and helping them expand their minds, and was tempted to follow in her parents’ footsteps. While she likely would’ve been a stellar educator, her mom also worked at the California Shakespeare Theater, causing Zendaya to catch the acting bug at a young age. When Zendaya decided to chase her dream of performing her parents showed full support, taking time off work to drive their daughter to auditions.

#4: She Formed a Cheetah Girls Group

If you grew up in the early 2000s, chances are you watched “The Cheetah Girls” more than a couple times and listened to the soundtrack on an endless loop. This franchise obviously had an effect on Zendaya, who started her own Cheetah Girls group in the 1st grade. By the time she was barely out of Kindergarten, Zendaya knew that she wanted to be like Raven-Symoné. Her aspirations ultimately became a reality, as Zendaya would go on to star in multiple Disney Channel Original Movies, scoring major roles in “Frenemies” and “Zapped.” Isn’t that so Raven?

#3: She Started Dancing at Age 8

Considering how much she loved “The Cheetah Girls,” it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Zendaya was dancing her heart out by age 8. She got her start with the Future Shock Oakland dance group, which performed hip-hop and hula dances. Her experience with the troop would pave the way for several high-profile dancing gigs. She most notably appeared as one of (xref) Selena Gomez’s backup dancer in an advertisement for Sears. Little did Gomez know that she was dancing in the presence of a future Disney star. In an ironic turn of events, Zendaya would eventually land the role of background dancer Rocky Blue on “Shake It Up,” bringing things full circle.

#2: She is a UN Ambassador for HIV and AIDS

As if Zendaya didn’t already have enough in common with Selena Gomez, both actresses also share a connection to the United Nations. Where Gomez is an ambassador for the UN Children's Fund, Zendaya is a UN AIDS ambassador. Speaking with Glamour, Zendaya noted that cases of HIV and AIDS have increased in the US for the first time since 1993. Zendaya not only encourages people to get tested, but to protect, appreciate, and love yourself. While visiting South Africa to endorse UNAIDS, she met three brothers that lost their mother to the disease. On her 19th birthday, Zendaya promoted a CrowdRise fundraiser to help buy them a new hope, accumulating over $50,000.


#1: She Insisted That Disney Change the Name of Her Show

In between breaking out on “Shake It Up” and hitting it big with “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” Zendaya earned top billing in the Disney Chanel series, “K.C. Undercover.” Before committing to the show, however, Zendaya had a few demands, which she opened up about in a Vogue interview. For starters, she wasn’t a fan of the show’s initial title, “Super Awesome Katy,” describing it as “whack.” In addition to having the title changed, Zendaya also took issue with her character’s name, Katy. “Do I look like a Katy to you?” she asked the Mouse House. So the main character became K.C. Cooper, which is actually a much more fitting name for a teenage undercover spy.
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