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Seattle’s trail-blazing choreographer Alicia Mullikin is making moves (literally) and challenging stereotypes of who can be a dancer. Watch more of Uncharted: Seattle at VISITSEATTLE.tv.

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Transcript

- The thing that drew me in most when I moved to Seattle was that there was art everywhere. My name is Alicia. I am a Chicana choreographer, dancer, and teaching artist in Seattle. I think representation is key as a young dancer and I didn't have the opportunity to see many brown women doing this art form. There is a lot of support and a lot of excitement about diversity, but there's still a lot of work to do. My hope is that through representation I can show both the struggle, but also the beauty, the power, and the resilience of women. I'm excited to be a trailblazer for the Latina experience here in Seattle. Head, pull back, pressure here, crush it, and we go, side, side, yes! There we go! My aesthetic is definitely aggressive, it is a little bit of an attack towards the audience. Every time I step on stage, like, this is my body, this is who I am, and like here's what I got. People of color are still not seen the way that they should be in dance specifically. Here they're really actively trying to change that. Seattle has stepped up to really support the people that need to be seen in this city. I'm most supported by the people here in Seattle. The dance community really has surrounded me with love and uplifted me. That's where I find the most support. - Thank you so much. It means a lot to me. - Thank you! - I teach at Seattle Academy of the Arts and Sciences and Exit Space School of Dance. Seattle Academy has been really supportive in what I've been trying to do there. It's hard to kinda be something that you don't know is possible. Creating those spaces where my students can be inspired by people that maybe look like them will hopefully help them be inspired to kinda pursue this form as well. One of my favorite age groups to teach is teens. Their fire and their passion for life in general translates through movement really well and their hearts and their minds are really open to new experiences and that is kinda infectious for me as an educator. Swing, up, da, da, da, da, swing, hit, and we go open the chest. Yes, beautiful! Can we go a little bit more? I love to teach. My hope is that as an educator I can inspire and create opportunities for my students. - I wanna dance for all of my role models at Exit Space and the badass women that I take class from because it's just made me who I am and it's taught me how to be myself. - Thank you, thank you ladies. Let's get it, let's kill it! My biggest inspiration is my culture and my heritage. My overall need to dance just comes from just a basic human need to express and emote. There's a lot of things that I can't say verbally that I can say with my body through movement and expression. My heart is open when I'm dancing and the pain is definitely there and the struggle is there, but I hope that the beauty and the love that I've received from my family and the support from my community is also there. Any culture can be enriched by a more diverse experience or a more inclusive group of artists and dancers and stories that are being told. That's what's exciting here is just finding those people that love to do what you do and believe in what you do. We've been welcomed with open arms and that's indicative of Seattle to be excited and willing to hear new voices. Pretty excited about what's happening here in Seattle and I'm really excited to be apart of the change.