Updated: Nov 24, 2020
The Dance for All Bodies organization has recently conducted interviews with its instructors Alicia Langlais, Antoine Hunter, Janpi Star, Clara Rodriguez, Auti Angel, and Stephanie Bastos. Each instructor brings a unique perspective and experience to the world of integrated dance. During this 6 week series, the Dance for All Bodies blog will feature one instructor interview on Saturdays.
Alicia Langlais is the creator of Diaspora Dance, an all-levels Caribbean Vibes meets Afro-Pop dance party class. In addition to her work as a Bay Area Dancer, Instructor, and middle school dance educator, she is also a Dance Inspiration Coach. Alicia also has a Master's of Education Degree in School Counseling and Master's of Art Degree in Transpersonal Psychology. Her M.A. degree concentration in Creative Expression with studies and research focused on Dance Therapy allows Alicia to meld her dance training, personal experience with dance trauma, and mental wellness backgrounds to help students slay dance related insecurities or trauma, which she calls "Dance Dragons." Her dance experiences are founded in the ideology that every body is a beautiful dancing body, and if internal Dance Dragons make dancers feel otherwise Alicia’s positivity and guidance will assure that they are SLAYED!
To learn more about Alicia, check out her website linked here.
During an interview with Dance for All Bodies, in her own words, Alicia Langlais describes her background with dance and how dance is a human birthright. Dance, whether you have training or are a novice, we as humans all have the ability to access dance as a way of expression.
“My name is Alicia Langlais. I’m originally from Bronx, New York. I moved to the Bay Area in 2008. I moved here in the peninsula and I’ve been living in the East Bay for about 7 years now and I’m loving it. I am raising 2 Oakland boys, so I’m now an Oaktown girl.
My class, diaspora dance, I call it a dance party class because the purpose of the class is to tap into a collective raised vibrational experience. You know there’s the whole piece of creative expression, we have a lot of freestyle circles, and there’s also an opportunity for not much brain work where we are just flowing and moving along with me and I am just being a guide. There are three tiers to it: that flow space, the challenge space, and then the creative expressive space. That’s what my traditional class looks like. And of course the soundtrack is to Afrodiaspora music. The ones that I gravitate to, pretty much exclusively to these days, because I used to do samba a little bit more, what has been making my heart sing is soca, which I love, the music comes from my culture, and also afrobeats, so those are the main ones.
The class format that I teach with Dance for All Bodies is more of the flowing format where I'll do a warmup and then I’ll lead movement suggestions for the song. I’ll teach choreography and then for the choreography that I teach I’ll provide different suggestions for how to move to the music. In that way it allows the participants to choose, ‘how do I want to move to this music?’ ‘Do I want to do it where I am focusing on my arms, do I want to focus on my midsection, do I want to focus on my legs?’ So I give different options on how to move based on what part of the body you feel more inclined to move.
My philosophies as a dancer that I have come to claim over time is that it is a human birthright, it is something that regardless of whether you have training or not we all have the ability to access dance as a way of expression. Because that is who we are and what we do naturally. We put music to water, and you put vibrations to water and it will move. You put sound to cells and you can see them reacting. On a cellular level, when we hear music, or we are hit with sound, we move, it doesn’t matter what kind of body you have, the inclination is to move and express. I love how everyone is having a good time. You can just see the smiles. You can see the smiles!
I’d say if you are interested in free flowing, a bomb party, with diverse people of all backgrounds and abilities, then try these classes. If you are interested in a positive good time, try these classes. If you’re interested in contributing to a growing community that is judgement free, then try these classes.”
Thank you Alicia Langlais for teaching with Dance for All Bodies. We appreciate the opportunity to flow, smile, and slay in your dance classes.