Find out more about our work and read guest posts from artists, and learn about our community.
April 2023: Carla Alcántara
Who is Carla Alcántara in a sentence?
A warm, passionate, forever optimistic Mexican artist that loves having meaningful conversations, laughing, connecting, creating, and sharing perspectives of the world through purposeful experiences.
Tell us a bit about your work and practice.
I am an independent dancer, choreographer, photographer, videographer, and educator. I am the director of TEMPO Dance & Visual Art, a project-based company that started in Mexico and it is slowly building up in Canada since 2021. My artistic practices often rely on multidisciplinary work, I love integrating different art forms that can offer a variety of perspectives that can be integrated on stage, film, installation, projection, workshop, in a conversation, or that can simply offer a space for reflection. I often work as an independent photographer/videographer to capture movement, industry events, headshots, and creative ideas. I am truly passionate about community building and creating welcoming spaces for everyone to experience movement and art in general. I am grateful to be part of the faculty of Shadbolt Centre for The Arts and a board member of the Training Society of Vancouver.
How long have you been dancing?
Well, as long as I can remember. My oldest memories have always been dancing, in my room, at my grandmother’s house, at school, at a family party… Dance has always been present in my life. I “officially” started training in techniques like jazz and tap when I was 8 years old, and later on, contemporary, ballet, and hip-hop. So it’s been 24 years?.. I can’t believe it…!
How does dance fit into your life currently?
Dance is a constant topic in my everyday life, whether it is dancing in the kitchen, preparing class in my living room, training with my friends in the studio space, researching my movement in the park or in a swimming pool, teaching my youngest kids strategies to discover their bodies through imagination, teaching technique to eager dancers, teaching adults to reconnect with their inner child, performing on a stage or dreaming about new movement ideas. Standing still, feeling my body dancing with the flow of the ocean.
How would you describe dance’s impact on your life?
Dance, for me, is a way of living, a way of rediscovering myself every day, a way to communicate what I feel, what I discover, what I sense, and a way to build bridges of communication, empathy, and care. It is truly a spiritual practice that always has been and will always be present to impact my life in many different ways positively.
What three core values drive your engagement with dance?
Do you have a particular practice that you carry out each day or have you implemented new practices as a way of adapting to the current climate?
Every day I go for a walk with my dog; he is really the one who pulls me out of bed every morning and encourages me to start my day. Rain or shine, we walk around the neighborhood, and sometimes we jog. I start with a walking reflection of my sleep while having great conversations with other dog owners along the way. Somedays, I come back and do a yoga practice, working on being in the present moment, breathing, and feeling my body energized.
What would you say are the most significant benefits for you in being a Dance Centre member?
As a newcomer, being a Dance Centre member has been an essential aspect of submerging me into the dance community in Vancouver. Having monthly newsletters, a member profile, and important information about members of the community has truly helped me a lot in understanding the dance scene in general. Additionally, having accessible rates to rent beautiful studio spaces.
Interested in becoming a Dance Centre Member? Learn more here.
We support the development of dance in BC as a resource centre providing programs and services for dance professionals.
Photos by Angel Arambula and Carlos Varela