Posts tagged "Alysia Johnson"

Meet Alysia Johnson!

INSPIRE. MOVE. MOTIVATE! Dance is an infectious form of creativity that allows you to free your mind, body + spirit. Dancer Alysia Johnson bottles up inspiration from the world around her as she showcases her gift  of dance +  reflects the story of her generation. She is carving out her voice through her impactful moves + leaving a trail of inspiration and open doors behind her.

Alysia Johnson is a dancer, writer, choreographer, arts education advocate and a soon to be graduate from The Juilliard School in the Spring of 2018. Hailing from Dallas, Texas is where she attended Dallas Black Dance Theater and Booker T. Washington HSPVA before moving to New York. She has had the pleasure of performing works by Robert Battle, Dwight Rhoden, Kyle Abraham, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano and many other admirable choreographers. Her choreography was recognized by the National Foundation of the Arts, and she holds a passion for arts education near to her heart.

In June of 2015, Alysia founded Emerging Dancers of Dallas, a program catering to young artists in the DFW area and in her companies third year they launched their very first summer intensive August 2017.

Let’s get to know Alysia a little better!

Photo by Mikaela Kelly

Dance is powerful beyond belief + can enrich your life in numerous ways! What first attracted you to the world of dance? When did you know you wanted to pursue your passion?
I agree 100%! Dance is everywhere so it was almost impossible for me to not be attracted to it. It’s so hard for me to pinpoint when I first fell in love with dance because I’ve done it everyday for the past 8 years intensely and I am so lucky to get to do what I love. I remember one moment when I was certain that I wanted do perform and dance everyday. There was a long period of time where I was injured and doctors were telling me I shouldn’t dance and looking back I didn’t even give that kind of rhetoric a second chance. I remember just searching to find doctors who believed in me and the art form just as much as I did because I knew that I HAD to be a dancer.

Soon to be a graduate from The Juilliard School this upcoming spring, what was your proudest moment? Was the transition to NYC a difficult jump to make while perfecting your craft?
I’ve recently been working very hard on developing a consistent and confident voice and speaking up about things I am passionate about is something I am very proud of. My proudest moment to date was probably when the Dean asked me and a few other students to join the Student Committee search for the next president of the school. I hadn’t been much of a talker but I had shown my interest in arts education and the school took me seriously.

The transition was actually super easy, I adapt and accept change pretty well and I was fortunate to have my high school best friends not too far away from in the city to help with any hardships.

You founded Emerging Dancers of Dallas, a program catering to young artists in the DFW area. Why was it important to create a space + opportunity for young artists to flourish in the Dallas area?
Creating EDD is one of my proudest accomplishments. I am a direct product of the Dallas Arts community and I wouldn’t be where I am without their constant support. Leaving home and moving to NYC taught me a lot about the importance of having a stable and nurturing environment that will see you through trials, process and all the way to an end product if that’s what the artist chooses. Dallas has produces incredible artists and EDD is a reminder of how the youth has and will continually contributes to that. Young artists have a sense of fearlessness and if I can help cultivate that for as long as possible through art and education, then I’m doing a small part for the bigger picture.

Photo by Eddie Eng

Being young, juggling responsibilities while walking towards your dreams can sometimes get to be a bit overwhelming, how do you regroup and motivate yourself when you’re feeling a little defeated?
I like to say I’m pretty good at staying calm and collected even when things can seem a little overwhelming, but the truth is there have been times especially as a working student where I’ve felt in over my head about future projects and new pieces I’m working on. There’s a few things I do when I feel like I’m getting into an unproductive or negative headspace. I stop completely and take a break from what I’m doing because at that point you’ll on fluster yourself more. When I’m feeling defeated I use a lot of self-talk and positive affirmation reminding myself that the moments where I feel discouraged or defeated do not make up my DNA. I try to nip those feelings in the bud as soon as I can and maybe talk it out with a friend, it’s best to not let those temporary moments fester and keep you down longer than they have too.

We tend to pull characteristics from others in our lives or from people we admire, who inspires you?
Oh my goodness you can draw inspiration from so many people and places. Living in NYC has inspired me to be a little bit more adventurous and risk-taking for sure. My mother has an incredible amount of perseverance and an A+ work ethic and I’m grateful that it has rubbed off on me. Once you start noticing and appreciating the strengths in the differences amongst people, you can get inspiration in people that can carry you through your tough days and weeks.

Photo by Omar Zobles

We are all about empowerment, what does EMPOWERMENT mean to you?
When I hear the word ’empowerment’ I automatically associate education and inclusion with it. There’s so much information available now with social media and the internet it’s a great way to connect and find people who you can identify with. There’s nothing more powerful than a person or group of people who remains a vessel to all of the information out there. It’s such an artsy thing to say, but empowerment and success don’t come from degrading other people and their ideas, it comes from growing through understanding and empathy.

What advice would you give girls who want to follow their dreams and passions but are nervous or intimidated?
If you are nervous or intimidated by failure, try looking at it as an opportunity to grow and learn from the process/outcome. Don’t anticipate failure, give yourself a chance. You have to be the biggest advocate for yourself!

Time for faves! Celeb Crush? Artist? Food? Movie?
Ooh my celeb crush differs by the week but the most consistent is Beyoncé. How could I not say that? My favorite artist is a recent writer I came across Nayyirah Waheed, she finds ways to say things I’ve been thinking and makes it poetry. I am a huge fan of French fries, actually almost all things potato involved haha. My favorite movie has been Colombiana for sometime now. Zoe Saldana plays the main character and I love the plot!!

Check out more of Alysia here:

Alysia Johnson


Emerging Dancers of Dallas


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