Multi-talented actress and singer, Zendaya, stars as Raquel “Rocky” Blue, one half of the comedic duo, in the hit Disney Channel series Shake It Up! and is currently recording her debut album on Hollywood Records.
Born September 1, 1996, in Oakland, California, Zendaya grew up as part of the California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda, where her mother works as the House Manager. In addition to training at the theater’s student conservatory program, and later performing in numerous stage productions, Zendaya helped her mom seat patrons and sell raffle tickets to benefit the theater.
While attending the Oakland School for the Arts, she starred as Little Ti Moune in Once on This Island at the Berkley Playhouse and the breakout role of the male character Joe in Caroline, or Change at Palo Alto’s TheaterWorks. She also studied her craft at the CalShakes Conservatory program and at the American Conservatory Theater.
Zendaya has performed around the world, including at The White House and in the 2011 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and she tours select cities with her Z-Swagg Dancers and Singers. Zendaya, derived from the word that means “to give thanks” in Shona (a Bantu language native to the Shona people of Zimbabwe), was a fashion model for Macy’s, Mervyns and Old Navy. She was also one of the back-up dancers in a Sears commercial featuring Disney Channel star Selena Gomez.
Zendaya now resides in Los Angeles, California with her family and dog, a giant Schnauzer named Midnight.