Wanna know what it is like to tour with a convention for an entire regional season? We asked NYCDA’s National Teen Outstanding Dancer and JJGirl Ali Deucher how she has felt about touring with NYCDA this past year and here is what she has learned:
Q: What is your favorite part about traveling to new cities?
A: One of my favorite parts about traveling is definitely the amount of Starbucks that I get to have (?) I don’t get it much at home, so when I can get it when I travel, it’s an extra bonus!
Q: Does each city feel different?
A: For sure. Each city has a certain vibe. I mean, yes, the scenery is often very different. But the culture and the people there really set the tone of how I view that city.
Q: How do you choose which cities you attend? How many cities can you go to?
A: At the beginning of the tour I coordinated dates with my studio director to see which weekends would work best. Of course I’d love to go every weekend, but it’s just not possible being a teenager with my crazy schedule. I can go to as many as I can. I have been to over 10 cities!
Q: How do you feel on stage?
A: I feel very proud of the work that I have done that weekend. It’s difficult to work all weekend and then perform your best at the closing show, so I just accept any mistakes that I make and learn from them.
Q: What has been the most inspiring moment for you so far?
A: The most inspiring moment for me so far is watching the other dancers and the teachers grow! Each class I always find myself watching others with a smile; I really enjoy seeing the dancers find themselves. That inspires me to find myself in dance as well.
Q: How do you feel setting an example for so many other dancers?
A: I feel excited and privileged! It’s pressure during the classes sometimes, because you have to be on your A-game 100% of the time. I love being someone who people can look up to; it’s a great opportunity to better myself so I can help others be better.
Q: What is your favorite part about dancing at NYCDA?
A: One of my favorite parts about dancing at NYCDA is the amount of support that is in each room. I know in my heart that no other convention is as heartwarming and accepting than NYCDA is. It is less of a competition and more of a learning experience.
Q: Who do you hang out with at conventions?
A: I love to hang with my buddy (and fellow JJGirl) Jacalyn Tatro. We are always laughing and if we’re not laughing, it’s because we’re trying not to laugh.
Q: What has this experience taught you so far?
A: It has taught me billions of lessons. Here’s just a found short examples:
- Love your flaws.
- Appreciate other dancers’ talents.
- Be open to any situation that comes up.
- Stop comparing yourself to others; there’s such beauty in being okay with yourself.
Q: What advice would you give other dancers who want to win this title?
A: Stay humble. There is so much more you can learn if your eyes are open to everything. Experience highs and lows. Not every weekend is going to be easy-breezy. There are times when your thighs feel like they’re gonna fall off; but you think of the little girls watching, suddenly that burning sensation truly ignites a fire inside of you. Drink water. Enough said. Always ask for help if you need it. NYCDA is a family and will treat you with respect as long as you do the same. Just enjoy the time you get to spend with such incredible artists; there is nothing else quite like it. Good luck!!!
Much Love, JJGirl Ali Deucher