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Meet Matthew Alexander

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matthew Alexander.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was born and raised in San Diego, California, and dance is my life’s purpose. I began my training at a very young age, and as a child I was trained in various styles including hip hop, tap, jazz, ballroom, and contemporary. Hip hop dance quickly became my favorite style; hip hop encapsulates the dimensionality and diversity in movement that made me fall in love with dance. Since pursuing hip hop dance, I have built an incredible foundation in almost every style, including old school hip hop grooves, breaking, urban dance, popping, waacking, krump, house, and LA industry style. My biggest asset as a dancer is my versatility, and my ability to execute many different styles of dance and execute them all at a professional and exemplary level. I am the kind of person that sincerely follows my dreams and passions, and I do not quit until I achieve them. I put my heart into everything that I do and have built an incredible work ethic and sense of professionalism from many years of training with some of the best dancers in the world.

I started my dance training at a very young with Future Shock San Diego, while also competing with Mary Murphy’s Champion Ballroom Academy. I was also involved with the Ion Theater Company during this time and performed in professional stage plays at the age of 14. I then joined Culture Shock San Diego at the age of 17, where I performed all over Southern California. After high school I attended the University of California Santa Cruz, where I competed with a local collegiate team, and performed and competed my original choreography at Northern California hip hop dance competitions including Breakthrough, Bridge NorCal, Prelude NorCal, Collaboration NorCal, and En Route. I then moved on to training with Academy of Villains and their San Francisco division. During my time with Academy of Villains, I was fortunate enough to teach the Academy of Villains San Francisco team my original choreography, and regularly performed with Academy of Villains at corporate events around the Bay Area. I then moved to Los Angeles where I began training with Kolanie Marks and Antoine Troupe at Kreativ Mndz Dance Academy, which has been an incredible introduction to Los Angeles, and has even further expanded my diverse skill sets and professionalism as a performer. I am now a Director and Founder of the dance department at The Dimension Collective in downtown Los Angeles, where I have opened a small dance studio, to offer affordable studio rentals, classes, and freestyle jams to the local Los Angeles community.

I began my professional dance experience at the age of 17, where I worked as a dancer at SeaWorld San Diego, in which we performed nightly routines and interacted with guests at SeaWorld’s Club Atlantis. We performed choreography, breaking, freestyle, and led guests in popular party dances. After competing for many years, I began performing professionally with Academy of Villains. After performing in many corporate gigs all over the Bay Area, I was chosen to perform in Academy of Villains’ original show at Universal Studios Orlando Halloween Horror Nights, House of Fear. House of Fear was an incredible experience, in which we rehearsed for two months in Orlando, then proceeded to perform 5 times a night, 140 shows in total, over the course of 6 weeks. House of Fear was rated the highest show in customer satisfaction in the history of Halloween Horror Nights and was the first show in Halloween Horror Nights history to not have alternate performers.

Please tell us about your art.
My choreography is my art. Ever since I started dancing creating choreography has always been the most enthralling part of my dance practice. The inspiration for all of my work is the music itself. Seeing an amazing dancer interpret amazing music can reveal emotions, motifs, and entire musical elements that didn’t exist before. creating dance, whether it’s a choreographic stage piece, a free style collaboration, a flash mob, or something interpretive and on the edge is an extreme act of empathy. It takes a willingness to be vulnerable, to submit to forces beyond your control. When I think about creating something pure this is my approach. however, I always ground my process in technique and training. Relatively speaking, hip hop hasn’t existed for very long, but despite this, there is an enormous foundation of styles to draw from. The great thing about hip hop is how free it is in comparison to styles that come from the ballet lineage. But having some structure is a great way to inform the process and keep the final product grounded and humble.

There is a feeling that I am always chasing. The thing that people crave from dance, music, art, and life in general is to be surprised, to see something they never expected. In dance, this feeling is visceral, a real physical reaction that can’t be contained. These moments are a perfect blend of technical virtuosity and the distilled, unique personality of the dancer. It’s so hard to describe with words but it’s just raw. You know it when you see it. These moments are statements that live and die in a moment on stage. Moments that reflect so genuinely the experience of being alive and the reality of emotion that you can’t help but shout and moan in response to it. These are the moments that I chase in my work.

We often hear from artists that being an artist can be lonely. Any advice for those looking to connect with other artists?
Collaborate! When artists come together their creations are always greater than the mere sum of their parts. Be willing to give your energy to the world, and if your wise about where you put it will come back to expanded. It’s tough though, When I made the transition to living in LA I felt like there was water everywhere but nothing to drink so to speak. The difference came when I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone. Be courageous!

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I have some work posted on my Instagram. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I keep most of my process to myself, only making public the work that I can say will stand on its own. However, the studio that I’m opening will absolutely be a foundation for more of my coming work to be viewed.

Contact Info:

  • Address: Down Town Los Angeles
  • Website: dimensioncollective.com
  • Email: matthewalexanderdance@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @mattalexdance

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

 

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