When did you start dancing?

I started dancing when I was 9 years old. About a year after I moved from the Island of Trinidad and Tobago to Miami.

I spent a lot of time hanging at school after hours. One day a woman walked in and told a small group of us that we would be given the opportunity to pick one of four arts to study. I picked dance, and to this day I’ve never regretted it.



How did you discover Alvin Ailey?

The first time I saw the company was about 15 years ago. It was at that time that I had the pleasure of seeing a ballet called “Episodes.” I had seen the company before and Mr. Ailey’s signature work “Revelations,” which already made me a fan. But after this experience it became clear to me that I wanted to be a part of it all. I applied for the Ailey/Fordham BFA program and was accepted.



What’s the best part about being part the company?

Without a doubt the people I work with. They make me laugh and surprise me daily. Of course the opportunity to travel the world and share my art.

And the brief moment when I catch the face of an audience member who is moved to tears. It’s like a credit card commercial ... Priceless.



What are some of the greatest challenges?

I would have to say the upkeep of my body is one of the largest challenges. Making sure I eat right and enough. Getting rest and remaining in technique class.

Most people think that once you’ve made it you have learned all that you need to. But becoming a professional dancer is just the tip of the iceberg. You’re always pushing yourself to learn a bit more than the day before.



Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is located at 135 N. Grand Ave., Downtown. For more information, call (213) 972-0711 or visit alvinailey.org.