Dressed in a camo crop top and black cargo pants, Aliesha Jordan ’19 dances center stage with Hypnotiq, Andover’s hip-hop-based dance group, at Grasshopper Night. Her movements are perfectly in sync with the rest of the group. This performance gave Jordan not only the opportunity to showcase her skills as a dancer, but also as a choreographer.
“My favorite dance so far has been the most recent Grasshopper, because I put a lot of work into choreographing it along with the other Hypno Co-Heads… I feel like it required a lot of stamina and it had a lot of different movements and ideas that really blended together well,” said Jordan.
Azariah Jones ’21, who dances alongside Jordan in Hypnotiq, SLAM, and Fusion, expressed admiration for Jordan’s ability to lead members of the dance groups by developing a positive atmosphere. For Jones, learning the routine that Jordan and the other Co-Heads of Hypnotiq choreographed for Grasshopper was a really fun and enjoyable experience.
“We learnt it really quickly, got to clean it really quickly, and it was really sharp… really good… and very technical and so it wasn’t just basic choreography. Learning it, it was super easy… [Jordan] broke it down step-by-step so we could see all of the different parts and it was really clear to everybody. It was a really good process,” said Jones.
Growing up, music and dance were an ever-present part of Jordan’s culture. As a child, she was exposed to dance through social events, such as dance competitions for kids at parties, and popular artists such as Michael Jackson.
“From a young age, my inspiration mainly came from Michael Jackson, because I remember I would watch him with my family. We would watch the music videos and how he would create his dance routines and stuff and he’s just a very innovative person from that perspective. I am really inspired by his ability to create movement and I feel like on campus, people who have inspired me were people who I have met and who graduated,” said Jordan.
Jordan first began taking dance as an elective class during Spring Term of her Lower year, inspired after watching some of her friends perform onstage during school concerts. As she began to take dancing more seriously, Jordan shifted her focus from jazz to other styles of dance, such as hip-hop, Afro-Caribbean, and step. After coming to Andover, she has been exploring dance through choreography.
“My Lower Year, I took a class with [Erin] Strong, [Instructor in Theatre and Dance], about choreographic elements and seeing dance not only as a form of entertainment but like how to construct dance itself, and what are the different methods to make the dance purposeful… whatever you’re trying to get the audience to understand from the dance. I have definitely developed my skill in dancing itself, but I also have more of an appreciation for it now that I understand what it takes to create an actual dance,” said Jordan.
After coming to Andover, Jordan has established her presence as a leader in the dance community on campus, becoming the Co-Captain of Slam and Co-Head of Fusion and Hypnotiq. According to Abby Ndikum ’20, the other Co-Head of Fusion, Jordan possesses natural leadership abilities and a devotion to dance.
“Aliesha embodies the raw emotions of humanity through dance. I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with her as a Fusion Co-Head, and she always brings nothing less than her best to the table! She’s a natural leader, respected by everyone in the community for being herself. I am so privileged to have her as a friend and sister in my life, and I know that she will continue to bless other people with her presence and love for dance,” said Ndikum.
Jordan attributes part of her growth in the realm of dance to the people who have supported and influenced her thus far. As part of the Andover dance community, she was particularly inspired by Justice Robinson ’18, a former dancer and producer for DramaLabs.
“I remember my freshman year when I auditioned for Hypnotiq, [Robinson] was the main person that I remember from my audition, and she definitely saw me through and helped me develop into the dancer I am today,” said Jordan.
Over time, Jordan has gained a deep appreciation for dance for its complexity, expressiveness, and cultural significance. She hopes to continue pursuing her passion for dance in the future.
“[Dance] will always be a major part of who I am so I plan on continuing to dance with groups at school. I also want to try going to more professional studios. I’ve always wanted to follow a more professional path in dance to create and perform for larger audiences, but for now I will just appreciate it as one of my passions and see where that takes me,” said Jordan.