We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexa Kornas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexa, what role has risk played in your life or career?
“No Risk, No Reward”. Risk, keeps life exciting, challenging, and our your feet. The amount of personal growth that can come with risk in my opinion, is the best reward. Of course, as dancer, your risk taking, hard work, and numerous years of training, hopefully leads to countless job opportunities, Music Videos, Award Shows, Tours etc… but on top of being systematically successful, the question of “Is there something more I could’ve done?” comes to mind. Did you do everything possible? Did fear of rejection or your insecurities, get in the way of something you wanted? We as dancers constantly have to show up for ourselves, keep our minds in check, because every move we make can make or break our career. But risk, is a high we live off of and we continue to manifest that our risks will pay off.
Then first risk in my career was moving from Detroit, Michigan to Los Angeles, with a few suitcases and knowing only two people. I had about two weeks, to find an apartment, and then a month to find a job before I was going to run out of money. I didn’t walk over here with the greatest amount in my pocket, but I knew I’d figure it out because I had to. There were countless moments of choosing to have more day to day jobs that took away time for me to train in order to just keep standing on my feet. Moving back was not an option. It is STILL not option. The thought of moving back to Detroit is enough fear/motivation to keep myself moving and doing whatever it takes. After six years, I have pushed my limits in every direction, but I’ve built a resilience to hardship and know that I will figure out whatever comes my way. Everyday, I am forced to make choices that can change my life, but I know that it will all be worth it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I had trouble finding my voice in the dance industry for the longest time. College really made it hard for me to see my full potential and gave me self doubt more than anything else. After doing the summer program in NY, I came back with a new plan which was to finish school, but I looked for every avenue outside of school to get myself ready for the commercial world since I didn’t feel like I fit in at school. I found drop in hip hop and heels classes, I auditioned and danced for the Detroit Pride Cheer Team for the Detroit Lions, performed in half time shows for the Detroit Pistons, and found a new community of dancers after joining a hip hop crew.
Once I moved to Los Angeles, I was all over the place with the classes I was taking. I had no sense of direction but I knew it felt right to be in here. I had some work to do. I noticed the training I had was only the beginning and I felt very behind with the industry. But I made a goal that by the end of my first year, I wanted to be involved every showcase the dance community had to offer…. and I did just that. I booked my first job for a Pepsi Short Film, and was signed to my first dance agency shortly after. But dance jobs slowed down, and I turned to working random jobs to stay afloat. I went through so many highs and lows during those first 3 years, but by the fourth year. I started understanding what I wanted to dance like, who I wanted to train with, and gained the confidence to start creating my own work. I have recently found my voice with teaching heels in the community. This style of dance just clicks, makes me feel confident, and inspired to choreograph. The idea of teaching scared me for the longest time. I’ve had issues with speaking in public and thought, “How can i teach a class of dancers if ‘m not even confident in my own voice?”. The fear of rejection and the pressure to create constantly also played a factor in prolonging my teaching career. But after shooting a few concept a videos and a few sessions at the studio with friends, I now cannot STOP creating. I still get nervous to teach before every class but the nerves settles as soon as we start and I get to watch the dancers perform my choreography.
My perspective about heels choreography is about respecting the technique, the lines and shapes we make with our bodies with out over sexualizing what is already considered sexual. Dancing in a heel, is about confidence. I want to create movement in heels to different kinds of music but keep the integrity of the heels technique itself. I felt a lot of the movement I was doing in a heel felt the same so I decided it was my turn to bring something different to the table. Some of my inspirations are Jessica Castro, Soraya Lundy, Sienna Lyons… just to name a few and I hope to be to walk int heir foot steps as I move forward in the industry. I want my choreography to show my versatility and personality every time I create. So whats next? I am continuing to build my new brand for teaching and to choreograph for major artists, films and award shows in the future.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My itinerary is pretty much a food and drink tour! We are going to hit my favorite restaurants such as Home and Best Fish Taco in Ensendada in Los Feliz, Mama Shelter in Hollywood, Brews Brothers and Joe’s Coffee In North Hollywood, and the Den on Sunset. I also love being outdoors so I would take my friend on my favorite hike called “The Bridge To No Where” and to either Malibu or Manhattan beach. My friend and I are definitely going out at night, so any rooftop or bars that have a great night life atmosphere you will probably find us there. Lastly, I have a secret spot in the Hollywood area the overlooks Los Angeles. The only reason I know this place is because at the time, I dog walked for this company called Wag, and the owner of the dog told me to take a certain path to get there! Its such great view!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My Shoutout goes to the Broadway Dance Center ProSem Program I did back in 2014. This program changed my direction with dance drastically. I was studying dance as my major at Wayne State University in Detroit and felt early on that concert dance wasnt for me. So with the scholarship program my school had, I applied to the program at Broadway Dance Center and spent 4 months in New York City being exposed to commercial dance for the first time. This program changed my life, thanks to the tough love of our director Bonnie Erickson, and the amazing support from my group that year. I finished my degree 2 years later, and moved to LA to continue my training with commercial dance.
Aaron Tyler Soffer Luke Garagano Tyler & Alanna Nick Romi Her Lens Photography