Today we’d like to introduce you to Kaleigh Allen.
Hi Kaleigh, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I have roots in North Carolina, where I began dancing at age two. I grew up in a small town where everyone knows everyone. I tried different things like cheerleading, but always found my way back to dance and the arts. I began competitively dancing at age 12, and during my competitive reign, I placed in the Top 5 women for the Miss Dance of North Carolina. I obtained my BFA in Dance Performance from East Carolina University in 2017. During my time in NC, I worked for Elevate A Production and Performance Company from 2011-2017, performing and choreographing for companies such as: NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship, American Red Heart Association, MOSCHINO! A Tribute Event, Bloomin’ Brands, and Molnlycke Health Care, to name a few.
I moved to Los Angeles in 2018 to pursue my dance goals. Before my move, I began to develop serious allergies to different foods, resulting in a serious run with eczema. It ran from my head to my ankles. There was a time that I wasn’t sure if I would be able to dance because of how my skin looked. After a four year battle, I discovered that I had an allergy to proteins. I changed my eating habits and decided to become vegan. With my new diet, the support of my family and with the help of an injection, Dupixent, my skin cleared up SO much!
Since my move to LA, I have performed for Insomniac Entertainers (EDC Vegas, Escape, Countdown, EDC Mexico, Beyond Wonderland Monterrey Livestream), Ubisoft (Just Dance), Royal + The Serpent, OPlus, and CheckOne2. I have performed in several states across the U.S., as well as internationally in Mexico. When not dancing I paint for my art shop, meditate, or enjoy nature. I use my creativity to express who I am without limitations!
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
After only being out in Los Angeles for a year, I was admitted to the hospital with a gut infection that almost took my life. My first thought was that whatever was going on was related to the allergy issues that I had previously dealt with. It turns out that Dupixent, the injection that has been helping with my other issues, had lowered my immune system to the point that I caught C. Diff. The doctors told me to call my “next of kin.” I called my mom and she got on the next plane to LA. During my time in the hospital, I was reminded exactly what I came out to Los Angeles to do. In fact, I even attempted to learn choreography through a video while I was hooked to an IV so that I could perform with my crew when I got out of the hospital. Now it’s been a year and a half since and I am so happy that I never let any of my health issues bring me down. Having a near death experience is never fun, but it sure does put things in perspective. I am proud to say that I am still standing as strong as ever and actively pursuing my goals.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
When it comes to performance art, I love to create something thought-provoking. I am driven by my passion and determination, and I won’t stop until I feel that I have perfected my idea. The use of emotion in performance art is extremely important and I feel that it’s one thing that sets me apart. I wear my emotions on my sleeve, and it reads through my dancing tremendously. So much so that I used to always win “excellent emotion” awards in competition. Emotion is huge when it comes to character performing, which is what I currently do with Insomniac Entertainment. Portraying different characters and stepping into a fantasy realm is what I live for.
When it comes to painting, I experiment with colors in abstract ways and create worlds that remind you of places you may or may not have been before. Maybe these places aren’t exactly “real” but a figment of your imagination. I strive to create and perform art that takes you “there,” wherever your “there” may be.
Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
The best piece of advice that was given to me is to keep a “little black book.” Especially when you’re in big cities. This book is for you to write down different artists you meet, and different names you come across that you want to learn more about. You can also use this book as a “source book,” where you collect items/words/quotes that you’re inspired by. Then make sure to go home and review your book after being out in a day of classes, or just around the city. That way you can start to figure out exactly what direction you want to take with your art, or whatever it may be. The possibilities are endless. Also, never be afraid to reach out to someone that you are inspired by!
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaleighmallen/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/kallen0898
- Other: https://www.etsy.com/shop/KismetandFrolic
Photography Credits: @justdoinnitt @cabreraworth_photography @cm_productions @ohitsdavid @starcinnabar Makeup Credits: @linnea.claire Hair Credits: @natbatcatt