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Home / Uncategorized / A Hamilton Girl At Heart

“It’s funny, growing up I wanted to get out of the city and then all I wanted was to come back to it.” Alyssa Nedich has found success in the city she calls home. Hamilton is where she has created her local dance company, To The Pointe Dance Project and she has also recently joined HCA Dance Theatre’s Board of Directors! Always willing to try something new, Alyssa has developed a versatile portfolio with experience in competitions, classrooms, theatres and on movie sets.

Mander: What do you love about dance? Why did you choose a career in dance?

Nedich: Dancing for me is a complete connection between body, mind and spirit. I feel completely in the moment when I dance. For me, dance often is my best form of communication. I remember when I was 16 years old and my beloved childhood instructor told me we would be creating our own choreography to teach and share with the rest of the class. It was only something small, like two counts of eight, but I can still recall the feeling of pride I had in my heart when I left that day. I love sharing dance with people in my life, and I am so thankful for each opportunity I get to do so.

Mander: Can you tell me a bit about your various roles and how you’re involved in dance today?

Nedich: Laughter* I have a few different roles. I am an educator and instructor so I teach dance both at the recreational and competitive levels at a few different studios in the city, one of them being the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts. Through teaching I get to join my students on their dance journey, helping to guide them on their way. I also run tap or contemporary classes for adults in the city with a focus on trying to bring dancing to people who have not had the chance to try it out before. Sometimes we get dancers who come in and have never danced in their life and other times we get people with professional level experience, so we do a lot of self-exploration and improvisation. Having different experience levels all in the same room is very inspiring because I feel that everybody has something to learn from someone else.

Mander: Where do you post the information about any upcoming dance classes you’ll be teaching?

Nedich: I update the Blog section of my website with any new classes that are running, so you can definitely check that out! (linked below)

Mander: What’s the story behind how your dance company came to be?

Nedich: To The Pointe Dance Project started 5 years ago, with small projects here and there. We did a music video a few years ago and then at Supercrawl in 2012 we put a contemporary dance show together. We have also done workshops in the city and through all that action it grew and evolved into a collaborative project. Now we’ve been able to put together short length shows at different festivals that support arts in the city such as Frostbites 2016/2017, and Dusk Dances Hamilton 2017. That’s where we hope to continue going, creating more dance pieces and trying to get the public more involved in getting out to see dance shows, especially in the Hamilton community.

Mander: Knowing that the dance scene in Hamilton is still developing, did you ever consider moving to Toronto?

Nedich: Yes, I think every artist feels the pressure that you have to eventually consider moving if you really want to do this. It’s funny, growing up I wanted to get out of the city and then all I wanted was to come back to it. I want to see things thrive and grow here which is why I choose to work with dancers in this region because I want to give opportunities to dancers that are local rather than feeling like Toronto is the be all end all. Obviously it’s a thriving and booming community there but we’re growing here too and I think there’s a lot of potential here so although the thought has crossed my mind, it’s never really been what I wanted.

Mander: I think a lot of people feel the same way. So speaking of growing, what are your goals for the year?

Nedich: 2017 was an exciting year. It was a bit slower because we were travelling, attending weddings and experiencing a lot of life changes but in the future, once we all get settled into 2018, I would really like to work on getting funding to produce our first full length show and touring it in the Ontario area. I’m also interested in teaching abroad at some point. I would love to bring what I learn out there back home to infuse my creative process. Our goal is to keep creating and keep making art and dance with amazing and talented and kind people and just trying to bring as much dance to Hamilton as possible. I sometimes get a bit sad when people ask where you can go to see dance in Hamilton because I think to myself, I don’t know right now. I would love to have dance programming seasons going here and really make dance visible.

Mander: It’s great that you feel so passionate about what you do. At HCADT, we also acknowledge the gap in programming and communication. It’s one of the reasons we’re working so hard to build a connecting point, or bridge, for dance companies, dancers and their audiences. We want to be a resource centre, and also collaborate with artists just like you to program more performances. Let’s get building!

For more information on Alyssa’s work, and To The Pointe Dance Project, check out: http://www.alyssanedich.com/blog/

Picture: Sean William O’Neill

By: Jasmine Mander