Sunday, March 8, 2015

Alicia Graf Mack

Photographed By Kevin Garret

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME AN ALVIN AILEY DANCER?
It takes a lot of hard work, perseverance and sacrifice to be an Alvin Ailey dancer. The company tours more than half of the year, so I was always away from my husband, friends and family. The day-to-day life is a grind that includes loads of rehearsals and performances and every day counts as much as the last. With that being said, there is wonderful responsibility to uphold the historical legacy of the company. I was very proud to be a representative of an institution that inspired people wherever we performed.

WHAT'S YOUR EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND AND PERFORMING EXPERIENCE TO DATE?
I have an undergraduate degree in History from Columbia University in NYC and a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Washington University in St. Louis. I've been a principal dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. I’ve also performed in gigs with Beyonc√© John Legend, Andr√© 3000 and Alicia Keys.

WHAT ROLE DID DANCE PLAY IN YOUR CHILDHOOD?
Dance was my childhood. I spent every waking minute moving and taking lessons. My parents were very supportive of my dream and it helped that my sister was into it too!

WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU'VE COME ACROSS IN YOUR CAREER THUS FAR? 
My biggest challenge with my career has been dealing with injuries and arthritis. I hate dancing in pain, so having an auto-immune disorder that affects my joints poses a significant problem. I’ve learned to manage the disease with medication and diet. But it’s a constant challenge. I’ve had to take three long breaks from my professional career because of injuries and surgeries.

WHAT’S IT LIKE RUNNING A DANCE COLLECTIVE WITH YOUR SISTER?
It’s a pleasure and a dream come true to run D(n)A Arts with Daisha. We’ve both been in the dance world for such a long time, but have never had the chance to work together until we started this initiative.

WHAT INTERESTS DO YOU HAVE BESIDES DANCING?
I love to spend time with family and friends, go to the movies and try out new restaurants.

TRENDS, DO YOU FOLLOW THEM OR DO YOU WEAR WHAT YOU LIKE?
I don't really follow any fashion trends. I wear what I like. Most of the time, I’m running around rocking yoga clothes. I lead a very active lifestyle and like to be comfortable.

WHAT'S THE BEST BEAUTY ADVICE YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED FROM A PROFESSIONAL?
The best beauty advice that I’ve ever received came from my mom. Beauty comes from within. A clean face and brush of mascara can go a long way.

YOU’RE AN ADVOCATE FOR JUICING AND YOU’VE CUT GLUTEN INCLUDING DAIRY FROM YOUR DIET. WHAT HEALTH BENEFITS HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED AND WHAT RISKS ARE INVOLVED WHEN ELIMINATING CERTAIN VITAMINES, MINERALS AND PROTEINS FROM YOUR DIET, ESPECIALLY AS A DANCER? 
I'm an advocate of juicing and I maintain a low gluten and dairy diet. However, I eat very well and make sure I get enough carbohydrates, calcium and vitamins by eating other foods. I burn a lot of energy throughout the day, so I'm always fueling my body with good foods and juices.

ANY GUILTY PLEASURE?
On a cheat day, I love chocolate chip cookies.

2 comments:

  1. She's inspired.

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  2. Very nice interview! Enjoyed reading it and learning more about the life of a dancer.

    www.LUXESSED.com

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