Dancer uses movement to inspire, teach and heal

Dancer uses movement to inspire, teach and heal

Alecea Housworth. (Image courtesy of Elaina Houseworth.)
Alecea Housworth. (Image courtesy of Elaina Houseworth.)
S enior Alecea Housworth’s whole outlook on life has changed since becoming a rhetoric major and learning the art of persuasion.

But it’s her minor in dance that helps her convey meaning in ways words cannot.

The Covington, Georgia, resident recently used dance to express her feelings on current events. Using screen-dance skills learned in “Modern Workshop” class—Housworth choreographed and produced a polished video supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. The unassigned project acknowledges her feelings about inequality and injustices she feels as an African-American.

“I want the video to reach the masses and let people know: Enough is enough. We can no longer say nothing. It’s time to rise up and make a change. If we stand for nothing,” she said, “we will fall for anything.”

It’s my way of connecting with feelings and emotions that are hard to face head-on. When I dance, I feel free and unconfined to the weight of the world and my worries.
– Alecea Housworth

Being a student at Georgia College means having an open mind and being ready to be challenged, Housworth said. Her professors and dance instructors were always caring and supportive. Their encouragement strengthened her confidence, enabling her to step forward and take a chance. College helped her tackle hard topics like race and inequality.
 
Housworth created the dance video to acknowledge racial strife and promote healing in the Black community. In it, she is joined by her sister, Elaina Housworth, and senior biology major Jada Moore. Dance instructor Natalie King consulted and King’s husband, Michael Crews, did the videography. It’s filmed against familiar backdrops in Baldwin County, as well as Andalusia and Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion.

A clip from Housworth's dance video.
A clip from Housworth's dance video.

The work, entitled “Now is the Time,” is a candidate to represent Georgia College in film at the American College Dance Association conference in the spring. 

“Alecea is an exceptional artist,” said King. “She creates smart and entertaining works that make audience members feel and think. Her movement moves. Our younger students in the GC Community Dance Program really look up to her when she teaches and performs.”

Alecea Housworth dancing onstage for Georgia College. (Image courtesy of Michael Crews.)
Alecea Housworth dancing onstage for Georgia College. (Image courtesy of Michael Crews.)
Dance instills discipline and control, Housworth said. She’s learned to communicate through body movement and use her surroundings. She does jazz, hip hop, ballet, modern, African and West African dance, tap and pointe. 

For this project, however, Housworth wanted to do more than just dance. Videotaping it ensured her message would have a platform to reach more people. 

She chose the song “Stand Up” by Cynthia Erivo, because it made her soul “cry.” It sounds like a song that might’ve been sung in the fields by those who were enslaved. But she said it’s also an “alarming call to freedom.” 

Housworth played the song over and over again to construct the dance steps. She recorded herself exploring various moves and tailored her movement to the lyrics. She tried to embody emotions of sadness, pain and anger.

I also wanted to show strength, persistence and resilience. To show we’re overcoming all obstacles and still standing. I love African dance, because I’m able to be free and really channel the joy of movement and freedom.
– Housworth
"But I also wanted to show strength, persistence and resilience. To show we’re overcoming all obstacles and still standing,” Housworth said. “I love African dance, because I’m able to be free and really channel the joy of movement and freedom.”

“My main objective is that minds, hearts and souls be moved—that we may also change mindsets and transform culture,” she said. “Now is the time for justice. Now is the time for equality. Now is the time for peace. Now is the time for unity.”

She’s been part of the GC Community Dance Program and dance group “Catastrophic” for three years. During her time at Georgia College, Housworth has also been involved in intramural ultimate frisbee and flag football. She’s participated in the Black Student Alliance and Community Council. Both groups help African-American students adapt to life on campus. Housworth spent eight years with Hosea Helps, as well. It’s a community service organization in Atlanta that clothes, feeds and assists the homeless. 

She’s “definitely grown during college” and advises students coming after her to be unafraid and adapt to change. Her years here helped Housworth know herself better and see clearly where she’s going. 

She hasn’t decided exactly what she’ll do in the future. But Housworth knows it’ll include dance—either in her own studio or with a dance company. She hopes to travel the world and explore different cultures, as well. 

Mostly, she wants to spread unity.

“Whatever I do, I do not want to have any regrets—just fulfillment knowing I served my purpose.
– Housworth

To view Housworth’s YouTube video, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRHrrm8-WgA&feature=youtu.be