Born in Brazil, raised in New York; Alison Stroming has been taking the world by storm to say the least. As a dancer, model, youtuber and founder of her own dance-wear company, Alison's career was destined for greatness from a young age. On top of winning awards, starring in national ad campaigns and publications, Alison also serves as a mentor to young dancers. We caught up with the incredible #girlboss to see how life as a pro dancer all began.
How old were you when you started dancing and when did you decide to really try and create a career from it?
"I took my very first ballet class when I was two years old! I also trained in jazz, tap, hip hop, and ironically, ballet was my least favorite! However, I loved being on stage and competed in my very first dance competition when I was 6 years old. My mom took me to see “The Nutcracker” at Lincoln Center in New York City when I was 8 years old and the moment I saw the principal ballerina enter the stage in her beautiful costume and tiara, I fell in love and said, “that’s what I want to be!”. My ballet teacher encouraged my mom to take me to an audition for the School of American Ballet, which is a very prestigious ballet school in NYC, and to my total surprise, I was accepted! And so, I started my formal ballet training when I was nine years old and decided when I was about thirteen years old that ballet was what I wanted to pursue."
Alison wearing Valentina Red.
What is one of the greatest highlights in your dancing career?
"One of the greatest highlights of my career was performing at New York City’s world famous theater, City Center, with my former company, Dance Theatre of Harlem. It is amazing to be able to tour and perform all across the world, but the most rewarding experience is always getting to perform in my favorite city, to which I have called home for almost my entire life. The energy from the audience in New York City is like no other and just knowing that I have all of my family and friends in the audience supporting me, is the best feeling!"
You are a hugely successful professional dancer and so many people are inspired by you and your skill- I saw you have set up a mentoring programme for young dancers. This is amazing! What inspired you to do this?
"Thank you! With my new dancewear line, AS Dancewear, I have been able to share one of my new passions, which is designing with dancers across the world. I wanted to also build a program to connect with my dancers and something that was meaningful and had purpose, which sparked the idea of creating AS Mentorship. I have selected 15 young dancers from across the United States to guide and mentor one-on-one for a year in partnership with my brand. As a mentor, the feeling of paying forward what has been done in the past for me is so rewarding."
What challenges have you faced during your career that you have been able to overcome? What did you take away from this?
"One of the biggest challenges I have faced during my career would be my struggle with self-esteem and believing in myself. Growing up, I was very shy and was always scared of being judged and what people thought of me. It was easy to get caught up comparing myself to my colleagues and so I wasted time and energy on things that were not necessary instead of just working for myself. It took time, but I have learned to embrace what makes me unique, and that it’s okay to just be myself and to feel confident in my own skin. I have been able to carry that grace and confidence into my dancing, which has helped me become the artist that I am today."
Photography by Andrew Kinder.