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Meet Aubyn Armstrong

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aubyn Armstrong.

Aubyn, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in San Antonio, Texas and started my journey of dance at the young age of five years old. My love for dancing eventually evolved into a love for creating choreography. By the time I was 13 years old, I knew I would pursue a career in dance. After years of training and teaching at Trilogy Dance Center, Insight Dance Ensemble, and the San Antonio Jazz Ensemble, I began my endeavor into choreography at the professional level. I was given the opportunity to nurture this love for creating work on others and see my visions come to life. I’ve been grateful to showcase my work at various Texas festivals, summits and showcases. When I turned 19, I knew it was time to push myself to grow. So I packed my bags and moved out to LA. When I first moved here, I focused intently on my dance training and mostly a pursuit to “make it as a dancer”. I have had the pleasure of working closely with leading contemporary choreographers such as Erica Sobol, Adi Salant, Tilman O’Donnell, David Harvey, Medhi Walerski, Jermaine Spivey, and Spencer Theburge.

After training with these incredible teachers and some serious self-reflection, I realized that I was no longer cultivating my love for creating choreography. I was waiting for someone to give me permission to create work and choreograph. So with the inspiration, my mentors had gifted me, I gathered my resources and developed my first dance short film in LA! I have since then, re-tuned my focus into creating works, specifically dance on film. I have had the opportunity to have one of my most recent dance films premiered at Meraki Film Festival. Through collaboration with cinematographers, directors, and dancers I have been so lucky to create films I am so proud of. I plan on collaborating more, learning more, and pushing myself and others on this venture! I am so inspired to keep creating choreographic film works that challenge and expand the culture of dance. Let’s create some art y’all!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t think anyone has a crystal clear pathway, especially when it comes to pursuing a career in the arts. I have learned that I am forging this road with each step I take. Moving out to LA at the age of 19 required me to stand in confidence that I could be independent. In my mind’s eye, I definitely thought I could move out and find that independence without any resistance or struggle. I soon realized that I was on a path that was most definitely not clearly paved. I got jobs in two different restaurants, worked six days a week to make ends meet, and scraped by only to be able to afford a couple of dance classes a month. After some hard work and patience, I was promoted and found some financial stability. With this, came the ability and resources to train and take more dance classes. Staying strong and confident was not easy, but I was very lucky to find a community of people that gave me the inspiration to keep going.

I learned that I was not only on a path of independence but also of self-discovery. I was always told by society’s conditioning that I had to “be somebody” and “make a name for myself” before I could be a “real choreographer”. So I fell deeper and deeper away from my passion of choreography to pursue a career as a commercial dancer. Auditioning and dieting until I fit what they wanted me to be. It wasn’t until I felt incredibly lost that I knew there was something I was missing. With the help of my mentors, I came back into myself and realized the parts of myself I needed to nurture once again. That by creating, I was already a creator. I didn’t need to become somebody in order to be given permission to create. And that is when I started creating dance on film. My love for creating choreography had re-blossomed. Through this, I was and still am discovering myself. Learning who I am by the opportunities I take, the work I create, and the actions I make. It took me two years living and growing in this city before I made the decision to take up some space. To stop waiting and start making! What a journey its been. I look forward to continuing to forge my path alongside this incredible community.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a freelance choreographer and creative director. I specialize in creating choreography for art, film, live performances, music videos, and commercials. I treasure a good challenge and connection with others through collaboration. I am so intrigued by how dance can evolve into different forms of art.

I believe my work and my process sets me apart from others because I truly try to hold space within a project for some magic to fall into place. Staying soft around a core principle and idea of a project and seeing, through collaboration, what it can morph into. Through this offering of space, I think we give a lot of power back to the viewers that we present our work to. We can let our work speak for itself. I look forward to working with music artists, fellow dancers, and collaborators.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would try to be a little less hard on myself. I would remind myself that we as humans are in a perpetual state of becoming. That no matter where we are, we are meant to be there. On the mountain or in the valley, I would remind myself to feel it all. Because it is all good and it is all important! Whew, saying this is a good reminder for myself even right now! Always learning and unlearning. Always becoming…

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.aubyn.dance
  • Email: aubynaaa@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @aubynaaa

Image Credit:
Kamryn Nichols, Logan A Williams, Marlene Lacasse

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