Glenwood Springs High School senior Alana Koch has been dancing for almost a decade now, and she doesn’t plan on stopping.
The 18-year-old has plans to study dance at Colorado Mesa University in the fall and dreams of making it in a professional company. Then she hopes to share her passion for dance with students by opening her own studio.
Koch shared with the Post Independent her experiences in dance so far, her love for other art forms and her plans for the future.
Post Independent: When did you start dancing?
Alana Koch: I started dancing when I was 9 years old. I had gone to a dance performance with my mom, and I was instantly inspired. I saw those dancers up on that stage, and I thought to myself, “I want to do that. I can do that.”
PI: What companies or organizations have you danced with?
AK: I’ve been a dancer at the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts since I was 9, and I’ve worked my way up through the leveled companies since that time. I’m currently a member of the Advanced Dance Company there, and I love every minute of it. I also take classes with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet here in Glenwood, and I am one of the captains of the Glenwood Springs High School Dance Team.
PI: What are your favorite styles of dance?
AK: I absolutely love contemporary. It just allows me to open up and express through emotional and technical movement, while doing some pretty amazing tricks at the same time. Ballet, oh how I love ballet. Being able to move gracefully through space while performing a classic style is so rewarding — and so hard! And me being me, I have to balance it out with some hip-hop. I love hip-hop. The hard-hitting movements are terrific, but the feeling I get while doing hip-hop is so powerful. It’s crazy embracing the elegant ballerina side of me, and the next minute being a hard-hitting hip-hop dancer.
PI: What’s your favorite part of performing?
AK: When I step out on that stage, I do it for me. It’s just a bonus that there’s audience in front of me, so I can show them my passion. I love making an audience feel something, whether it’s a thought or an emotion. My earliest memory of performing was way back when I was about 4. I was a part of a gymnastics class that got to show off our cartwheels in a performance with the rest of the studio. It took me a second to warm up to being on stage, but once those lights went up, it’s like I was a different person other than this shy little cutie in pigtails. So of course I’m always nervous before performing. However, once the adrenaline kicks in and I take the first step on stage, it all flows naturally.
PI: Are you interested in any other kinds of art?
AK: I used to paint a lot a few years ago, and I love to paint. I guess it’s the grace of the movement of a paint brush that I related to; it’s kind of like the ongoing flow of a dance.
PI: Do you see a future in dance?
AK: I will dance till the day I die! It’s a very significant part of who I am as a person. Next year, I will be continuing my dance career in college at Mesa State, and then only the future knows where it will lead me. The dream is to make it as a professional, and then when I can no longer be a company member, I will open up a studio to call my own where I will teach dance to aspiring dancers. I want to obtain the technique and knowledge to be the best dancer that I can be, and then share my passion and knowledge with others who have the same dream that I did.
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