Ballet in the kitchen: Alana Isiguen

Alana Isiguen (Courtesy of Boroka Nagy)

"Alana Isiguen was a mere 2-years-old when she became so committed to emulating the movements in her older sister’s dance class that the instructor eventually conceded, much to the young pupil’s delight, in letting her join.

From there, it was love.

Isiguen, who will join the UW department of dance in the fall as the artist-in-residence, soon advanced beyond the small studio to begin training with the Charlotte Ballet at just 9-years-old. Isiguen describes her time with the company as a formative experience that allowed her to envision her trajectory from the perspective of professional dancers.


Dance classes are, at their most essential, a gathering of people whose shared movements and physical exaltations from the basis of deeply personal interactions. Isiguen expresses that, although dance is in many ways an internal process, dancers must constantly observe or “sense” themselves within a space. Coming into a studio, physically being around other dancers and witnessing their crafting, these are elements which can’t be replicated over Zoom and, as Isiguen put it, alone in one’s kitchen.

Yet, Isiguen maintains that there is a difference between giving into this “dark place” that sees creative environments as fundamentally changed versus absorbing the gravity of the situation in a way that devotes energy to positive production.

“A society needs art for all different reasons, but [in this sense] art is a way to understand what’s going on,” Isiguen said. “The makers are making art to help explain and express how people are dealing [with the circumstances] and what they’re going through.”

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