Ariyan Annette Johnson, a dancer, actress, choreographer and director, was born April 30, 1976, in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. This daughter of artistic parents took classes at LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts, majoring in film and dance. Johnson also spent time at Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance and 92nd St. Y Harkness Dance Center, as well as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Her breakout film role of Chantel Mitchell in Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. earned her a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead. She has acted in other films such as Bulworth and The General's Daughter and numerous TV shows, including ER, Law & Order, The Steve Harvey Show, JAG, L.A. Doctors and Static Shock.