This week’s Dancer/Choreographer feature goes to Allison Laliberte, better known in the Dance industry as Allie. Allie is a professional dancer from Midland Ontario Canada. She is trained in various styles of street and urban dance and has competed all over Ontario and the United States. After only dancing for less than a year, Allie was asked to teach classes at The Dancer’s Studio. She taught many different styles of dance to a wide variety of students including some with physical and mental impairments. Allie trained in various styles like Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Musical Theatre, Pointe, Contemporary and Hip Hop from studios all around Ontario including The Dancer’s Studio, Georgian Bay School of Dance and Tapps Performing Arts. Allie was asked to join multiple studios and training programs including Images Dance Company and Dark Dance Company for her exceptional work ethic and dedication to her art. She became an official Dark Dance Company member at the age of 16, which helped her fall deeper in love with the Hip Hop and street styles of dance. While in Dark Dance Company, Allie was able to study under some of Canada’s best choreographers and teachers such as “Hollywood” Jade Anderson, and Andrew “Pyro” Chung. Allie has been in many training programs and companies such as Eye Candy ( Shavar “Caution” Blackwood), Dark Dance Company (Lineen Doung), BOSS Dance Company( Leah Totten), The Cast (Angela Mahoney)
Allie has performed on stage and television. She has performed on stage alongside Capital Cities (VMA and Grammy Nominees for multi-platinum single “Safe and Sound”) for the Nintendo Just Dance 2014 Launch Party and for the K-Pop artist Young Avz at the Be A Champ convention choreographed and directed by Leon Blackwood for and audience of over 8,000 people. She can be seen in Shawn Mendes’ new music video “Something Big” with over 19 million views on Youtube, choreographed by Scott Fordham (Jully Black, Nelly Furtado, Deborah Cox) and also performing in Chrystalyne’s recent music video “Punks Don’t Dance”. Some of Allie’s credits include Beatdown 2013 3rd place winners crew battle (BOSS Dance Company), Second Place overall at Beast Coast competition in Rhode Island (Dark Dance Company), multiple appearances at Toronto’s Original Choreographers Ball (THAMOVEMENT), The Bazaar (Aba Entertainment) and Fever After Dark (J. Bobb Fever Inc). Allison is currently part of the immaBEAST Company under the direction of youtube star Willdabeast Adams who has over 54 million views and the most watched choreography video award on Youtube. ImmaBEAST company members perform and compete frequently in Los Angeles as well as all over the United States of America. ImmaBEAST is one of the leading HipHop Companies in the world.
Allie is also continuing her career as a professional choreographer. She travels to different studios around Ontario to offer choreography for competitive dance teams and performers at Tapps Performing Arts, Georgian Bay School of Dance and Images Dance Company. She teaches drop-in classes downtown Toronto at The Underground Dance Centre and continues to push herself and grow as an artist.
Allie is currently living in Toronto where her passion and drive for dance continues to grow each day.
Bio provided by Allie
Follow Allie on Twitter: @AllieLaliberte
Facebook: Allie Laliberte
Youtube: Allie Laliberte
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Allie: I used to force my friends and sisters to make up dances with me since before I can remember. I hadn’t taken a dance class until I was 13 or so but always had it in me. I’ve always been really creative and artsy.
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Allie: The first song I remember Choreographing to was “Waking up in Vegas” by Katy Perry. I had forced my little sister to come downstairs to my dance room and learn the dance I had made up. It was a jazz dance with some partnering. It was awful but at the time I thought I was a genius.
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
Allie: The first thing to think about when freestyling is that it is free. So many people get caught up about how it looks or what to do next, but we have to realize that we are free to do whatever comes naturally. There is no right or wrong in freestyling. There are techniques that we can learn to shape how we move naturally that may help with getting comfortable with freestyling. We can’t be scared to freestyle because that is the truest form of dance. Dance comes from freestyling so I think everyone should be comfortable doing it.
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
Allie: Sometimes when I try to get in the zone to choreograph it seems impossible. So sometimes I ask a fellow dancer to come help, for inspiration. I also choreograph a lot on the bus or plane when I travel. I’ll listen to music and because I can’t move I can only rely on my imagination, then my vision will be more clear. I then try it in person and see how it feels, and add and change things while still maintaiing the original vision. It’s hard to force yourself into the choreography zone. Sometimes you have to and you just have to find something inspiring (a new song etc).
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Allie: My biggest influence in the dance industry would be my dad. He was never a dancer but he was the first person to introduce me to the art of dance. He loved So You Think You Can Dance and we watched it regularly, he was always asking about my dancing and loved watching me practice on his living room floor. Another person who has influenced me greatly in the dance industry is Shavar Blackwood. He took me under his wing for an upcoming show a couple years ago and had me understudy, since then I’ve worked with him on many occasions. He’s had a huge role in my growth as a dancer, he is brutally honest and genuinely wants his dancers to get better. He’s also someone who gives great advice and their honest opinion about your dance career.
Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
Allie: I love working for Leon Blackwood. His choreography is so challenging but he has such a positive energy about him that, even though you’re stressing about the moves, you’re still having a great time working for him because he is so supportive. He also knows what he is talking about, he can give you great advice and he makes you work harder than you ever thought was possible.
Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why? (It does not have to be a pop star. Any type of artist that a Dancer would work with i.e.; another Dancer, Choreographer, Musician etc.)
Allie: My favorite artist to work with would have to be Mickey Nguyen, a local toronto dancer, singer and actor. He is a close friend of mine and anytime we are on set or on stage together it is an amazing experience. We support each other on our projects and although we may not get to work together much, it is always a blessing being able to share the experience with him. I also love working with fellow dancer Andrew Kyrzyk. He has a great energy about him and there is never a dull moment when in the room with him.
Nikki: Qualities you believe Toronto Dancers possess?
Allie: Toronto dancers are, to me, some of the most talented dancers on the planet. I’ve trained in Los Angeles and some of the worlds top dancers don’t even come close to some of the dancers here in Toronto. I think we have so much potential as a City and we will do great things with what we have to offer. We also work harder than most. Since making a living off dance is hard in Toronto, we work our butts off to ensure we are the best.
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
Allie: If I could say one thing to any emerging dancer or choreographer would be to never second guess yourself or your talent. You’re capable of doing what you set out to do and don’t let unnecessary things distract you. Stay focused and work hard and stay humble you won’t be disappointed with the outcome;
Nikki: Any upcoming projects, shows or classes you would like to share with T.D.O.T.?
Allie: I don’t currently have any upcoming events that are open to the public or anything. I will inform you if that changes!