I've had the privilege of knowing and dancing alongside Ms. Myers for the last four years and I am so excited to introduce her as our first dancer spotlight! She may seem quiet at first, but she is a force to be reckoned with. I've asked her to speak a bit about what she's been up to since graduating last spring.
Hi, I’m Alyssa Myers, a 2020 graduate from USC Kaufman, a choreographer, dancer and arts organizer. I grew up in Yuma, Arizona where I trained in ballet and Horton at Yuma Ballet Academy and joined their pre-professional company in my early teens. Kaufman then helped free the innovative artists from the seamless bun-head and I started exploring what the impact of dance does for society, outreach organizations, choreography and performance.
Currently, I am a freelance dancer and choreographer. I am so fortunate that the lower Covid case numbers in Yuma have allowed us all to meet in-person, in limited groups with masks and social distancing. Most recently, I created a work for Utah Metropolitan Ballet and I’m currently in a creation process with a pre-professional company, Ballet Yuma. While I’ve been in my hometown the past handful of months, it has been really nourishing to find ways to give back to where it all started for me. This even began growing a passion for teaching beginner adult classes and developing my own training structure inside of ballet vocabulary.
It has been revealing for me to see what dance organizations, companies and schools have the resources to adapt and which ones do not have as much wiggle room. I think the economic disparity between dance institutions is troubling, because the students suffer the most. While the pressure has been turned up and it is crucial to find funding and resources to keep dance alive, there also needs to be a focus on how this is affecting the people in the room (studio or virtual)… especially for young artists.
I also am captivated by how much the dance world has been able to change. How shifts that seemed impossible before are suddenly fluid. In a way, this disruption has been a really great thing because it has allowed the concrete barriers that have been solidified by tradition to finally come down for the survival of art. I’m excited to continue making work and exploring movement for the purpose of fostering human spirit inside of these changing times.
Check out more of her work on Instagram @alyssa.always