Enrique Alarcon started his training in ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, Latin, ballroom and folk. His natural feeling for dance, and good ear for music, make him an exquisite performer and choreographer. Working with notable Choreographers in Peru gave him the ambition to start creating his own choreographies, methods and philosophy of teaching. After attending law school in Peru, he decided his passion for dance was too strong to ignore. So, he followed his dreams, packed his bags, and moved to the states where he became a dance coach and choreographer for prestigious dance schools, dance companies, and theater groups in Fairfield County and throughout New York City. His experience, method, philosophy and life style helped him create The Dance Collective with Amanda Parton his friend and dance partner of eight years.
The Enrique Alarcon Philosophy of Dance Instruction
For Enrique Alarcon dance is an art form… a workout… a doorway to your spirit that unlocks your inner joy… and he brings each of these elements into his classes for his dancers to enjoy. His philosophy of dance instruction pushes past the technique of traditional dance studios and the cardiovascular emphasis of fitness center dance classes to create a highly energetic, exciting, and challenging yet accessible style of dance for students of all abilities. Enrique defies the notion that a dance career must start at an early age and end in one’s 20s or 30s. Instead, he believes that anyone with a desire to dance, a passion for challenge, and a willing mind can become a dancer.
In addition to his years of formal dance training Enrique is a self-taught dancer, allowing him to fully understand the psyche of the dance student. By always remembering what it felt like to be a novice dancer Enrique is able to take choreographies that have traditionally been the realm of experienced dancers, and make them accessible to people of every skill level. He believes that if you teach from the point of view of a student and a teacher, you can simultaneously address the needs of the beginner and advanced student. This dual approach is what allows dancers of various abilities to be challenged by and enjoy the same class.
Another critical component in his philosophy of teaching is maintaining a high level of energy with his students, which is palpable the moment you walk into his studio. By engaging every dancer with visual or verbal cues he gives them personal accountability, empowering them to excel both physically and mentally as the choreography builds. The exhilaration students feel as they execute ever-challenging moves is what drives the energy level continuously higher.
Finally, Enrique assesses his students throughout the dance, tailoring steps as needed and offering multiple options for specific sequences to ensure a positive attitude, yet always encouraging his students to “try it.” With this ongoing feeling of confidence Enrique helps his students bring emotion to their technique, to “feel” the dance instead of simply executing it, and to bring soul to their movement. When their mind connects to the choreography, and their body creates the movement, then their spirit can come alive and awaken their inner joy.
“DANCE is an art form...
a doorway to your spirit that UNLOCKS your inner JOY.”
In creating his dance company Enrique Alarcon strove to bring a diversity of dance disciplines to his troupe, culling dancers from Classical, Latin and Modern dance styles. Giving him a broader palette with which to bring his choreographies to life, each dancer brings their unique perspective to his dances, adding depth to his pieces as he weaves their individual experiences into living works of art. Perhaps even more distinctive from traditional dance companies is Enrique’s defiance of dance age stereotypes, with several members of his troupe dancing well beyond the typical career-span of a dancer. Watching his company perform from its youngest to its most senior member with equal beauty, strength and exuberance is both inspirational and breathtaking to behold.
Amanda started dancing at the tender age of four, when she enrolled in the local ballet school. She dabbled in a little jazz and ballroom, and enjoyed it, but soon discovered that her real passion lay in contemporary, she performed many times in her home town at local events and showcases, and had the chance to attend workshops in London with the Ballet Rambert, and The London Contemporary Dance Theatre. After some years on the advertising scene, in London, and Singapore, Amanda returned to her dance background 4 years ago, when she met Enrique. They became close friends and eventual dance partners. They now perform and teach together.
Alexa began training as a child with the Toldeo Ballet School in Ohio. She spent summers dancing at Ballet Aspen, the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet & The Ballet West Conservatory in Utah. In high school, she trained & performed with the now defunct Bay Ballet Theatre under the direction of Christopher Fleming, a former NYCB dancer. Alexa was awarded the Presidential Scholarship for Dance to Wake Forest University. She spent four years dancing with the Wake Forest Dance Company, performing works set by Vairous choreographers from the Balanchine Trust, the North Carolina School of the Arts & Alvin Ailey.
Betsy began her dance training at age 10 as a Junior Olympian Gymnast in Madison, Connecticut. Over the years, she has studied and taught many dance forms including modern jazz, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop and latin ballroom. She has trained and performed with numerous choreographers and dance companies in the Connecticut and New York area including Paul Hall Contemporary Dance Theatre, Lee Lund Performing Workshop and Adrenaline Hip-Hop Company. Most recently, Betsy spent three years training and competing regionally and nationally in American Rhythm, Smooth and International Latin Ballroom Dance. Former owner of Rhythm In Motion Dance and Fitness Studios, in Branford and Madison, CT, Betsy holds certifications in Pilates, MELT Method, and Holistic Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching. She presently teaches the MELT Method at the Dance Collective of Westport, Connecticut.
Cait is a Connecticut native, studied ballet and modern at the Harkness House for the Ballet Arts as well as at Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. She has danced professionally with Joyce Trisler Dance Company, Theatre Ballet of Canada, Dennis Wayne’s Dancers, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, David Parsons, Elisa Monte Dance Company and Sung Soo Ahn Dance. Cait currently owns and operates Westport Pilates and Fairfield Pilates.
Morris Parker is a young, talented dancer with a passion for Hip Hop, to which he brings great energy and athleticism. He trained in jazz, contemporary, modern and ballet at The Performing Arts School in CT, and is continuing his training with Choreographer Enrique Alarcon at the Dance Collective.
The Dance Collective is awarded first place as the people’s choice for the best dance studio in Westport, receiving more than 90 percent of the votes.
The Dance Collective, located at 222 Post Road West, offers classes for kids, teens and adults of all skill levels. Classes offered include hip hop, jazz, ballet, Broadway, Latin & jazz, partnering technique, Afro, and ballroom.
Ask Enrique Alarcon a question about the philosophy, the joy of dance or even The Dance Collective and he will respond back to you.