We had the good fortune of connecting with Aleari Reed and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aleari, how do you think about risk?
Taking risks in your life is necessary. Having faith in your decisions is essential. My junior year of high school I decided I didn’t want to go to college. I just wanted to dance. I began taking dance classes and training after being self-taught most of my life. Most of those around me had no intentions of going to college, so I thought, “Why should I?” Well, God had different plans for me. God presented me with an opportunity to attend the American Musical & Dramatic Academy College & Conservatory. One day, I randomly received a postcard from AMDA and decided to google it. As I was scrolling, something in my spirit just knew this was the place for me. No homework, just dance! And I get to live in Los angeles? Sign me up…now! And mind you that I have been telling everyone that I will live in Los Angles since I was six years old. I took a risk and auditioned for their High School Conservatory program without telling anyone. I got accepted, told my mom, and there I auditioned for the BFA Dance Theatre Program in Summer 2018. Two weeks after my audition, I received my acceptance letter. I knew exactly where I was going before my senior year started and I was extremely excited about it. If I didn’t take that risk, I wouldn’t be the person nor dancer I am today. That one risk led me to have to take many other risks within my journey thus far. I will tell anybody that risks are how we move forward in life. Stagnancy is not my portion nor is it yours. No one has to live your life, but you. Don’t allow others to infect your dreams with their fears. Remain faithful, put work behind those prayers, and watch God move.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Dance has always been my first love. I could dance before she could talk. At age 11, I started watching and learning from dancers I saw on Youtube. The very first dance I learned was ‘Whip My Hair’ choreographed by Dejan Tubic and Janelle Ginestra. From then on, I knew I wanted to be a dancer and started to teach myself different routines everyday. Once I learned I could actually make dance into a career, everything changed. I faced a lot challenges in spaces where I felt insecure. The insecurity stemmed from feeling like I wasn’t good enough because I started dancing later than everyone else in the room. I feel as though that insecurity made me shy away from living authentically me. I started to feel like I had to prove myself in every dance space I entered instead of just simply being. Don’t get me wrong, that feeling made me even work harder, but I was more focused on what I thought was a deficit. As the years go by, It’s becoming more apparent that the insecurity of mine is my super power. Learning that I have nothing to prove has been a game changer. I am proud of myself for remaining faithful and steadfast despite any odds. I know my story will touch nations and make is known that regardless of anything, you too can do it. My goal is to travel the world and teach young adults the gift of dance and how their uniqueness can bless others.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to first of all thank God for giving me the gift of dance and never allowing me to count myself out. I want to thank my mom, Melissa Harper. She has always supported my dreams no matter what. She is my rock and I love her so much. She taught me how to work hard and never give up on my dreams. She takes on life with such grace, strength, and boldness. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if it wasn’t for her. I also want to thank my best friend, Jonyha Brown. She has seen me at my highest highs and lowest lows. She supports all my crazy ideas and helps me bring my visions to life. I also want to thank my Grandma Gail, my Papa, my Nanny, and my brothers for always being there for me. My village is amazing and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
Alexa Makeeva – the first 7 images Jonyha Brown- the last picture (creative directed by me)