In Conversation, a series of interviews exploring exchanges about dance and different folks’ relationship to dance.
In this edition of In Conversation I was able to speak with two powerhouse women, who are longtime professional movers and makers of thought-provoking, physically dynamic dance works.
Tonya Amos received a BA in Cultural Anthropology from U.C. Berkeley & trained four years on full scholarship at Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. A member of Actors Equity Association, she has appeared with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater & Donald Byrd, was a member of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Footprints & Amy Pivar Dances, performed in the International Tour of “West Side Story”, the National Tour of “Sesame St. Live”, Sacramento Music Circus’ “The King & I”, and has been featured in numerous print ads & TV commercials.
She is the owner of Aspire Pilates Center, which has allowed her to work full time on bridging health and wellness and the arts with communities that traditionally don’t have access. She’s proud to help build cross cultural and intergenerational bridges with Grown Women Dance Collective. IG: @GrownWomenDanceCollective
“We know in order to break intergenerational poverty, we know if we’re gonna really build as a community, it takes more than just a certification. It takes more than just a career.”
Sarah Bush creates her inimitable style of movement by combining years of training in ballet, modern, hip hop, jazz, and contact improvisation. She attended the University of Utah’s Modern Dance Department for two years on the prestigious Elizabeth R. Hayes scholarship. Sarah received a degree in Dance Performance and Choreography from San Francisco State University.
Since 2007, she has been the Artistic Director of Sarah Bush Dance Project (SBDP), a contemporary dance company based in the San Francisco Bay Area. SBDP’s repertory includes Un-Changing Nature (2019) Spirit & Bones (premiered 2018), Homeward (premiered 2017), This Land (premiered 2016), and Rocked By Women, (premiered 2011). IG: @SarahBushDance
“The dancing that happens outside is responsive and active and alive and reflexive. And you have to make a lot of choices in the moment, even if you fully choreograph something, there’s more chances that there’s a pebble under your foot or a dog runs by or a siren, whatever it is. And I think as a performer and when I work with other dancers, seeing them as performers, I love the way we all deepen in our performance when we spend time outside with the material.”
All Audio Recorded and Edited by Andréa Spearman
For more In Conversation content, read and listen here.
These conversations appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of In Dance.