Sanford McMurray

Sanford McMurray, Jr is the facilitator of the Unlock 2 Unleash youth programs, a professional speaker, entrepreneur and author of four empowering books: “Do You Live On Purpose?”, “The Heart Of Cheer”, the “Unlocking Fears” workbook and “Be You First.”

He holds a Diploma in Musical Theatre and Dance, a Diploma of Circus Arts, and an Advanced Diploma in Film, Television, and Stagecraft. He also holds accreditation for training and assessment (Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.)

Sanford is also A Youth Leader at the Deception Bay Community Youth Program, a Sport and Performance Consultant, and a certified mental health First Aid officer.

“What do you aspire to be? How do you want to change the world?”

I grew up in the ‘hood in St. Louis, Missouri in the US Midwest. My boys were always into going out and hanging out with the girls. Even though I loved the girls, I didn’t want to go out and party. I liked the small, little intimate moments where we’d have real conversations (what we call ‘real talk’).

I’m a big believer in following your dreams and your passions, living on purpose. I believe we’re all born with a purpose. I’ve always believed that, even as a small child.

I had always wanted to be a performer and help people to change their lives and follow their dreams, and people said, “Well, no-one does that. You can’t perform. How are you going to do that?”

Since formal education wasn’t teaching me how to write my feelings down on paper, I’d teach myself. They also weren’t teaching me how to do flips and the moonwalk like Michael Jackson, so I taught myself that too.

When I finished high school, I went to university. I was going to study communications, but I didn’t really want to be there for that, so I discovered the theatre and the dance world. I wanted to go to New York. To my dance teacher, I said, “I want to go to school to do performing arts in New York City.” She said, “Well, you know, you gotta practice,” so I practiced hard for two years. I got in on a scholarship, another two years of intensive training.

I finished and got my first professional job. Then I went back home to my hometown. They said, “Sanford, you haven’t been around in a while. Where you been?” I said, “I’ve been in New York, you know?” “New York! Who goes to New York?!” they all told me. I said, “I did, and you can too.”


When I grew up, I didn’t have my mother. My sisters suffered abuse in so many ways, as did I. We had to move almost every year. We didn’t always have food. But despite it all, we had love. I had parents who said, Go and get it. Go and get it. Whatever you want, you got to go get it.”

The Unlock 2 Unleash programs are born from this simple, yet radical premise:

“I don’t give up on myself, and I don’t give up on other people.”

By unlocking fear and releasing pain through art, music, movement culture, speaking and just having fun, we can reach the next level of who you are. We can tap into Kwah (unbreakable spirit). We can realise no matter how bad things become we can find joy. We can find joy in every aspect of our lives. Because when we do something we love doing, we find the positive.

How do I know this works? I’ve been going into schools and using sport, gymnastics, movement culture, painting, (dancing and martial arts) and Art Reflecting Life – using play and performing arts – for thirty years. I have seen it flow through all the people I connect together. This flow is their ‘Kwah’ rising.

I can walk into a room and see people’s extraordinary potential, so they can recognise their own capabilities. I can see where their fears are. I can see greed, envy, and jealousy. My job now is to help them to recognise that’s what it is, and show them they don’t have to live there anymore.

Unlock 2 Unleash programs and workshops unlock hidden fears and unleash extraordinary potential. We can achieve this through consciousness and compassion; it’s something we can all learn. That’s what I’m all about!

To book me, or just talk more, click here!

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