Initially I loved dance because I loved performing, I loved costumes and I loved making friends in class. As time went on, I realized that taking dance classes was teaching me a lot about myself and in doing so, was majorly shaping the way I existed in my non-dancing life. - Alyssa
I'm thrilled to share my dance shoot with Alyssa Noble! Alyssa and I photographed downtown at the American Tobacco Campus. She suggested the location and I always enjoy photographing there. Along with the interesting architecture, the tobacco campus is a staple of the Durham downtown scene. I thought it would be a perfect location for the Durham Dances project. Check out the photographs below!
If you haven't seen any other posts, Durham Dances is a book in the making! I am featuring great dancers at unique Durham locations to make a coffee table book. Get excited!
Where were you born and raised?
I grew up in Schaumburg, Illinois (a northwest suburb of Chicago) and went to college at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
What's your Durham connection?
I spent a summer as a Press Intern at the American Dance Festival in 2009, which is when I fell in love with Durham. Because I grew up in a Chicago suburb, in a nuts-and-bolts way, I was impressed with everything in Durham from the weather to the cost of living. The most influential thing though, and what ultimately cemented my decision to move here was the Durham arts community. I was so impressed and moved by how supportive the Durham community is of the arts - and specifically by how enthusiastic people are about modern dance, which is often regarded as a fairly inaccessible art form. I knew that this community would embrace me and that I could have a thriving career as an artist here.
When did you start dancing?
I started dancing at age four. My mom saw that I loved performing and enrolled me in a ballet class at the Schaumburg Park District. I fell in love and have been studying dance ever since.
What type of dancing that you do?
I am primarily a modern dancer but I have trained in many styles of dance. I have ballet, tap and jazz training, in addition to some less formal hip-hop training.
What made you keep going with dance?
Dance has always been an amazing way for me to put aside my daily stressors and to really focus on my own well-being. Initially I loved dance because I loved performing, I loved costumes and I loved making friends in class. As time went on, I realized that taking dance classes was teaching me a lot about myself and in doing so, was majorly shaping the way I existed in my non-dancing life.
When I went to college to study dance, I found a new freedom in letting go of the idea that I needed to execute every move with perfection; instead I embraced the idea of my physical practice as an ongoing, continuous learning process. In my post-college dancing life, I have continued to learn new things about my dancing body both by taking classes from a variety of teachers, and from working with a variety of choreographers.
What are your favorite things to do when not being a marvelous dancer?
In my free time, I love spending time in Durham - going to performances and festivals, going to farmer’s and craft markets, and eating everything. My husband and I joke that we are slowly eating our way through the Triangle.
I also just celebrated my first year as the Assistant Manager at Joe Van Gogh on Broad Street, which is where you’ll find me most mornings. Thanks to JVG, I recently went to my first Barista Camp and I just completed my BGA Level 1 Barista Certification!
What are you working on now?
I’m currently collaborating on an evening-length show with fellow dancer/choreographer Allie Pfeffer that will premiere in February 2017. This is my first time self-producing and will mark a major milestone in my dance career!
I am also newly an organizing member of DIDA (Durham Independent Dance Artists). I’m thrilled to be giving back to the local dance community on an organizational level.
Interested in Alyssa's dancing? Check out her sites below:
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