Zendaya, whose name means "to give thanks" in Shona, was born Zendaya Coleman to Claire Stoermer and Kazembe Ajamu (Coleman) on September 1, 1996, in Oakland, California. She grew up as part of the California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda, California where her mother worked 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 mother seat patrons and sell raffle tickets to benefit the theater.
Zendaya currently lives in Los Angeles with her family and dog, a Giant Schnauzer named Midnight. Her interests include singing, dancing and designing clothes. Zendaya hopes that just as theater led her to television, Shake It Up will someday lead her to opportunities in the music industry. In October 2010, Zendaya told Variety, "I love singing and would love to record an album at some point."
Zendaya's first single was a song called "Swag It Out", released online through iTunes and Amazon. The official music video for the song was released on YouTube on December 15, 2011. Zendaya andBella Thorne have made two music videos together: "Watch Me" premiered on the Disney Channel on June 17, 2011 during the A.N.T. Farm premiere and "Something to Dance For/TTYLXOX Mash-Up" premiered on the Disney Channel on March 9, 2012 during an episode of Jessie.