We had the good fortune of connecting with William Feldon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi William, what role has risk played in your life or career?
“Risk taking” is one of the most vital characteristics of any artist. The nature of being an artist, typically means going against the “norm” of getting a normal 9-5 steady job, which requires some sort of degree. Being an artist in itself is taking a risk. We are taking a risk hoping to believe others will monetarily or personally value our art. The day I graduated college, I moved across the country to work with a dance company. I never lived away from home nor have I ever been to that part of the country. I didn’t have family or friends there, let alone a job, sufficient to pay my bills, but I had a dream, and had to take that risk. I had the honor of performing with an amazing dance company, have amazing experiences and make great connections. Again, I recently moved to NYC mid covid 19 Pandemic. Again, I knew no one here, had no job, but again I had an opportunity to dance and had to chase it. Everyone will tell you “no, I don’t think that’s a good idea” “shouldn’t you just do ‘blank’ instead.” I wouldn’t have gotten where I am today nor accomplished my goals without taking a risk and following my passion. Things always work out.
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.
I am a professional dancer, and began dancing at the age of six. Unfortunately I lost my father at a young age which caused me to stop dancing as we moved and lost all we owned. As the years went by and I started high school, I was lucky enough to attend a school that had a dance program. For years I had stopped dancing and now was able to get back into it. My junior year of high school I attended Bre Dance Studio along with dancing in school which quite literally changed my life. My family couldn’t afford the additional dance training, so I worked for it. The artistic director allows me to clean the bathrooms, clean the studios, and help in the office as partial pay to help the costs for my tuition to train. I missed very important years of training when I was younger due to my dads death so I always felt like I had to work 10 times harder than the other dancers who had never had a “break”.. While performing in multiple local dance companies, performing at Disneyland in the parades and teaching dance classes, I studied dance at the university of California Riverside. The day I graduated, I received an opportunity to work with a company in DC, so after I got my diploma I packed my bags and moved. Working there was amazing which had led me here in NYC, getting ready to train with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater this fall. Throughout my career I have always and still do feel like I’m in a game of catch up. I took many years of dance off after my father passed and always felt behind. I am extremely grateful for that, however, because it has caused me to be extremely disciplined and critical of myself. Nothing good ever comes easy. Going against the norm and getting out of your comfort zone is the only way to grow. I want people to know that no matter who you are, what your story is, that it’s possible. If you want it bad enough and are willing to make the sacrifices for your dream, the dream is already yours,, you just gotta start living it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Central Park is my absolute favorite! It’s a great way to get away from the city. For someone who has never been here, we’d do the “touristy” stuff. See Times Square, go to the Statue of Liberty, take the subway etc. After all that, we’d go out to Harlem. Harlem is one of my favorite areas to be. The diversity, culture and food is amazing.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Clifford Breland, Artistic Director of “Bre Dance Studio”, for instilling the wisdom in me for whom I am today Keli King, Dance Professor at University of California Riverside, encouraging me to follow my dreams, and go all the way! My family, for always supporting my passion.