5 Ways Dance Influences My Life and Style

Performing my own choreography at Duke University in 2008

Maybe it was the google homage to dance icon Martha Graham on what would have been her 117th birthday or the article about ABT soloist Misty Copeland in the New York Times  or maybe it was my friend Phaedra getting back into dance and musical theater after years away.

I'm not exactly sure, but after a self imposed year hiatus I find myself feeling like I did when I was a kid, dying to be in in the dance studio. Ready to stretch my body and more importantly my mind.

L: Me taking a break at the barre during a college dance class,
R: My first performance in San Fran
I started dancing when I was four and never looked back. I spent the bulk of my elementary and high school years in a dance studio or on a stage perfecting my craft. Although I took a slight detour for college I always maintained my goal of someday becoming a professional dancer.

I was lucky enough to get my first professional gig right out of college and for a couple years dancing was my primary line of work.
Some may wonder what exactly this has to do with fashion and style and I agree the link is not necessarily the most obvious, but for me the influence of dance on my personal style has been quite important.

Top 5 ways dance has influenced my life and style

#5-Ballet Flats are a girls best friend
I am obsessed with ballet flats. I own numerous pairs in almost ever possible incarnation and color. One would be hard pressed to find me out during the day in something else. They are the perfect shoe for running errands and side walk dance offs, should the need arise.

#4-Long live leggings
I know the trend has kind of died, but these comfy leg coverings will always be in regular rotation for me. While black ones are always a surefire win colorful ones are a great way to incorporate the ubiquitous spring 2011 trend of bold color.

#3-You only have one body, treat it well
Self loathing has become way too popular these days and I am really kind of over it. Suffering or hurting your body in the name of fashion is played out. Every one of us was given a body that is unique and special. It is about time we start treating our bodies that way. Who cares if years of  developing amazingly strong thigh muscles doing grand plies (a more graceful version of a deep squat for non- dancers) means skinny jeans are not my thing- Flares are back in style anyways!

#2-Individual style- never duplicated, but always admired
Josephine Baker is one of my dance and style icons. What I admire most about her is that she turned what was seen in her day as a negative ( the color of her skin and lack of formal dance training) into a positive. In the 1920's she took Europe by storm with her individual looks, voice, and dancing and along the way helped to break the color barrier and became a fashion icon. There hasn't really been anyone like her since. Her style and story was incredibly influential this season. Check out Prada's spring 2011collection for proof.

#1 Express yourself
Blogging, dancing, even getting dressed in the morning are all amazing creative outlets for me. Some days I thank my lucky stars that a regular gal like me is fortunate enough to be able to share what makes me special with the rest of the world!

L: Pointe Shoes,
 R: My first pair of designer shoes were "pointe" inspired Gucci Heels


  1. Anonymous18.5.11

    Alyah, this is such a wonderful post! Keep up the amazing work!


  2. Anonymous26.5.11

    loves it honey..... u inspired me!!funny how things come full circle.. u just brought tears to my eyes.... u just made it all worth while for me.. :)