We had the good fortune of connecting with Alyssa Myers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alyssa, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Ever since I was little, I knew that I wanted to be a dancer, but the type of dancer I envisioned for myself has shifted and morphed over the years. Being a freelance artist actually wasn’t what I had in mind upon graduating from USC Kaufman. However, I knew that I had a strength in choreography. After working on several passion projects pre-grad, I came to trust that I could grow this part of my artistic career. I also find that this opportunity for leadership allows me to create environments with other people that reach for values and pursuits that I passionately wish to witness in society. I think that artists have the opportunity to speak about many areas and relations of life that regularly people may not give themselves the space to feel. I want to create art and dance that allows the audience and artists inside the work the ability to experience, discover, and become aware of their bodies’ own intuitive nature.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What intrigues me the most about dancing as well as dance making is how it is a practice of community. Whether it is a performance with hundreds of people or an inner dialogue within my own body, movement is a catalyst for understanding. Using shared movement language as a means for unveiling hidden truths between individuals, concepts, and environments allows for an infinite pursuit towards finding relationship with others. No matter what positions and spaces I find myself in (as a dancer or choreographer) I want to continue to work towards co-creating an environment and culture with my friends, colleagues, and collaborators that is supportive of all our voices. In that way, the choreographic works that I make are never finished, because I don’t believe I could ever fully understand anything or any other person’s experiences. Performances, showings, and sharings all feel like I am opening a locked door for other people to see inside my mind and spirit. Quite frankly, I find this terrifying. So it really comes down to making my artistic practice one of honesty and vulnerability with the people I am blessed to share movement with.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Right now I am based in my hometown, Yuma, AZ, until the effects of the pandemic start to wear off. So with that said, taking my best friend through the city would be like showing them my childhood and walking them through memory lane. One of the mornings would be filled with a hike up one of my favorite trails in Muggins Mountain and after the desert views I would take them to Cafecito, a local brunch spot in downtown. Side note, the toast creations they come up with are unbelievably tasty. We would float down the Colorado River and say we were on the rushing water that came all the way down from the Grand Canyon. Pre-COVID-19, I would take them to the Wine Cellar that my family friend owns for a great wine tasting and even better conversation. The essence of this place really comes from the local businesses, ongoing history in agriculture, hispanic cultural influence, and surviving the summer heat. Most of all, I would want to take my friend out down the county roads to watching the sunset. Yuma definitely is a place that gives me space and time to recognize things deep inside myself and I would want my friend to find an ease in their heart when they were here.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Goodness, its difficult to pick just one person who helped me get to where I am today. I have to give an immense amount of credit to Kathleen Sinclair and Jon Cristofori who have mentored me for over a decade. Also, Jodie Gates is a huge inspiration for me as a female leader in the dance world. And also, William Forsythe has changed how I view choreographic thinking and musical expression in my own dancing. I feel greatly blessed for the advice and nuggets of wisdom he has given me over the past few years.
Mary Mallaney, Ben Peralta, Abigail Gill