Alyssia Duda – The Dancer

A Q&A with 13-year-old Flossmoor resident Alyssia Dude who attends the Joffrey School of Dance in Chicago. Duda is also in the early stages of a blossoming acting career, currently staring in Fox’s Empire as young Candice.

Define your art and tell us what inspires you as an artist?

The joy of dancing has inspired me to keep going. I also use it as an outlet to express my emotions. It’s been very dear to me since I was little. I Love that I can express my emotions in the way that I move and the way it makes people feel.

How long have you been in Flossmoor?

We moved to Flossmoor in 2009.

How do you share your art?

I perform with the Joffrey School of Dance in the pre-professional program and we do a number of different performances. I also do provide performances throughout the year.

As an artist, what is your proudest contribution to the culture of black history?

For acting, I would have to say being a part of a pop culture icon like Empire, an entire cast that looks like me that can serve as an inspiration. It’s a blessing and a dream.

I also have an organization called Alyssia’s Dream a non-profit organization to help young girls of color to pursue their dreams of becoming professional ballet dancers. We inspire them that they don’t have to wait to be great.

What has history taught you that could help someone else who is interested in pursuing the arts?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

As it relates to your art, what is your favorite quote or saying?

“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” – Dr. Mae Jemison, first African-American female astronaut

As it relates to Black History Month, what is your favorite quote, moment or memory?

Meeting Misty Copeland at a luncheon. It was very inspirational. If she got that far, I know that I can get that far, too. She also represents people that look like me. Encouraging African Americans get into ballet.