Danica’s Got Dance

OC Native Set to Perform at Segerstrom Center

Written By: Robyn Wyman-dill Danica’s Got Dance

‘I love you in a place, where there is no space or time, ’ sings Donny Hathaway, to lyrics by Leon Russell, as Danica Paulos preps her dancer feet to the beats in “Take Me to the Waters” backstage.


Growing up in Huntington Beach, Paulos wanted to be a dancer since she was five. However, back then she never imagined what it would feel like to perform with a national treasure like The Alvin Ailey American American Dance Company, in her home County. Come April 6 – 10, Paulos will be dancing on home turf at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts with the Ailey Company, which she joined in 2014. The program will feature three new programs and eight OC premieres with new productions of Ailey classics, in movements that translate stories and elevate emotions—taking the audience to a place abset of space and time.  

Since 1958 when Alvin Ailey and a group of young African-Americans modern dancers performed at 92nd Street Y—a community center located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan—the company has been enriching our modern dance heritage with inspirations from blues, spirituals and gospels, entertaining an estimated 25 million people in theaters around the world. In 2008 the company’s contribution to the arts was recognized by a US Congressional resolution as “a vital American cultural ambassador to the world” for celebrating the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience. As long-term pioneers of dance, the company continues to spark our interest with dance, striking chords inside our souls that resonate romantically.

"Odetta" - Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater - Fri 24 Oct 2014 Kauffman Performing Arts Center. Photo,   copyright 2014 Mike Strong,   kcdance.com
Photo, copyright 2014 Mike Strong

For Alvin Ailey, his love affair with dance began in Los Angeles after seeing Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and the Katherine Dunham Dance Company perform. For Paulos, it was The Nutcracker. Her formal dance training began at Orange County Dance Center in Huntington Beach. She also studied at Yuri Grigoriev School of Ballet in Los Angeles and attended Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach High Schools—where she was enrolled in the school’s Academy for the Performing Arts. Paulos later went on to graduate from the Professional Performing Arts School in New York and earned placement in the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.


Only a small fraction of Ailey II dancers graduate to the senior ranks. Paulos described it as her ultimate achievement.


It was her performances during Ailey II season, with her rare blend of attack and willowy elegance, that dazzled the dance world. That style has earned Paulos more than one accolade.


She has received a Level 1 award as a YoungArts Finalist by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and trained at The Ailey School as a scholarship student as well as attended The Juilliard School in New York and Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC.

In 2015, Dance Magazine, applauded Paulos, ranking her as one of the ’25 to Watch‘ on the dance scene.  


When you reach perfect synchronicity, it brightens up your outlook and makes your heart soar.  Dancers do just that to audiences at the Segerstrom with dance. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will make its seventh visit to the center.


Paulos will make her debut at the Segerstrom Center, performing in Awakening, Exodus, Odetta, Take Me to the Water, and No Longer Silent.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

April 6 – 8 – 7:30 p.m.

April 9 – 2pm and 7:30 p.m.

April 10 – 1:00 p.m.

Price: $29 and up


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Journalist Robyn Wyman-Dill resides in Monarch Beach. She received her BS from the University of Colorado and completed her journalism studies at Saddleback College in 2010. Blessed with ample curiosity and a passion for knowledge and the arts, she loves to travel and has lived in London, Florence, and Germany.


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