Modern dance is waning in popularity, and young people don't seem to feel as connected with the work anymore. So what's a 60-year-old ballet company like Alvin Ailey to do to seem limber again?
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Belén Pereyra-Alem breaks barriers to get to study at one of the most prestigious dance schools around the world.
It is possible she was born to dance. They say the best dancers have a way of moving that grabs you by the heart. The same is true of Belén Pereyra-Alem. Belén believes that on stage, dance, as an art form, has the power of transformation.
From her early days working at restaurants to pay the bills while she paid her dues, to dancing with one of the world’s most beloved dance companies - Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Belén Pereyra-Alem has come a long way. Standing at just 5’3”, the 30-year old Dominican-American dancer is larger than life with spirit and soul. This Latina pours all her energy into each performance, fully dancing with an open heart and bringing characters to life on stage in the most magnificent of ways. But the road hasn’t always been easy for her. Just before heading out on Ailey’s 21-city national tour starting January 30, we caught up with the Inspiring Latina who shares her pride in her Latina roots, her passion for dance, and more than a few inspiring words.
American by birth and Dominican by heart, this Latina never let her failures define her. Born and raised in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Belén Pereyra-Alem never lost sight of her dreams despite the numerous moments of doubt and insecurity. Raised by the diverse city of Lawrence, Pereyra-Alem shares the fond memories of her childhood and how her heritage made an impact in her personal and professional growth.
To the students at the Boston Arts Academy (BAA), Belen Pereyra is a rock star. A Lawrence native, she currently dances with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York, a world-renowned modern dance company famous for its diverse ensemble and expressive movement.
From Lawrence to the lights of New York - a local dancer lands a plum spot with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Belen Pereyra of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Belen Pereyra talks about growing up in the Boston Area, and the Company's upcoming performances at the Citi Wang Theater.
“If you wanna move, let’s move,” says Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancer Hope Boykin. She steps offstage at Lexington's Cotting School auditorium and invites students to join her: “It’s hard to resist, isn’t it?”