Kealoha Alex Ferreira

Dancer since 2013.

I dance because it makes me whole. When I dance I feel emotionally, physically, and spiritually fulfilled. I am braver when I dance. I am more compassionate when I dance, and I am the most honest with myself and with others when I dance.

I joined Ananya Dance Theater in November of 2013. Never have I been humbled by an experience as much as I’ve been humbled by my first year with ADT. In the first months of rehearsal I remember feeling intimidated by the space. Not only was the aesthetic difficult and unfamiliar but the intensity at which the company trained in the technique and the intelligence in which they articulated their experiences and opinions overwhelmed me. I looked at each dancer and saw that they were not afraid to ask the difficult questions of themselves and of their social and political environments that fueled the nature of the work. I realized that in order for me to survive in the space I needed to ask those questions of myself and be willing to dig far deeper for the answers than I was comfortable doing. My intimidation lied in the fact that I had to face the parts of my identity that I had been actively resisting.

Over the months, though, as I continued to observe the dedication and love poured into the work by the ADT community, my intimidation turned to admiration and the insecurity I felt within the work was exchanged with a newly found voice and command. A voice that acknowledged my Filipino, Hawaiian, Chinese, and Portuguese heritages, that was sensitive to the spiritual and cultural memories that were revealed through dancing, and that was colored by the daily joys and disappointments of life as an emerging artist. I dance with ADT because it is in this community and doing this work that I am supported, encouraged, and challenged to continue to develop my voice as an artist while investigating my identity as a woman of color. I’ve been humbled by how fearlessly these dancers dream, how fervently they work, and how immensely they love. Gratitude for these people and for this space overcomes me, and I am left speechless with nothing else but the urgency to dance.