An Interview with Concert Director, Amy A. Wright

An Interview with Concert Director, Amy A. Wright

Amy WrightWe recently had a chance to interview Visiting Professor of Dance and Concert Director, Amy A. Wright. With this being her first semester at LUTD, Amy has done a fantastic job of making her mark in such a short amount of time. Her piece Bring What You Can Carry, will be featured in our annual fall faculty concert Fall & Recovery on November 10th & 11th. Our dance majors, Karla Figueroa and Tranisha McClyde, took this opportunity to ask her questions about her success and process in the industry.


1.) What would you tell a dancer who is about to graduate and may have no idea or is afraid to get out into the world of dance?

There is a path and a place for everyone, and it may take a while to find, but discovering your place is like kismet. Your path might take you somewhere unexpected, but that doesn’t mean the destination is any less special or purposeful. My advice is to spend your time learning to get as good as you can at as many things as you can- that’s what college is for! Who knows where you will discover a skill or passion that someday might feed your soul and, if you’re lucky, pay your bills too! Work hard to make yourself ready to seek out or to create the opportunities that you desire, and then when those opportunities come your way, be ready to take them!

2.) What actions do you take before you develop a dance?

My work usually arises out of a moment in my life- sometimes it comes from an experience or a memory or a social issue that I feel strongly about, sometimes the inspiration is a conversation, or music, or an image, or a phrase that becomes the title. Once I have that first nugget, I usually live with it for a while conceptually before I even start thinking about movement, until I have a collection of images in my head. Then, for me, the process of choreographing is one of discovering the structure that connects the dots between those images in the most interesting and meaningful way.

3.) What do you consider the most important traits in a dancer?

Curiosity. Ask questions about the world around you and your role in it. Take responsibility for seeking the knowledge that you desire. You live in an era of unprecedented access to information- don’t squander it!

Resiliency. Cultivate a buoyant spirit so that you might be quick to bounce back from your challenges. Be supple and elastic, not only in your body but also in your mind and your heart. Create your boundaries out of your best qualities, and not your flaws.  Be fearless, as often as possible. 

Humanity. Your history, your experiences, your values, your character- these are the things that you must bring with you every day into the studio and onto the stage, just as you bring them with you into the world.  Be compassionate above all things, and help your tribe do the same.

Self-Respect. What you do and who you are have value. Never let it be taken away.


1.) What skills have you learned as a dancer that help make or shape you as a choreographer?

Our choreography reflects who we are and, as movers, we discover a lot about ourselves in technique class.  Do we prefer very technical movement or pedestrian or abstract? Do we have a signature style? Are we introspective or overt? Is my left side stronger than my right (yes, it is)? How do I feel about structure?  What are my best skills? What is exciting, or interesting, or satisfying, or indulgent to me? All these things and so many more that have come to inform who I am as a dancer, a student, a teacher, and a human show up in some shape within my work, so, I guess the short answer is all of them!

2.) What makes a dancer stand out to you?

Discovering the best in our dancers is one of the best parts of my job! The dancers who stand out to me the most are those who are able to be their own authentic selves.  We are always looking for well-developed technical skill and expansive artistry, of course (though what that looks like is ever-changing), but for a dancer to give those things in a way that is also both honest and unique to themselves, while still being malleable to what the moment requires, is really special. I am also a process-over-product person, both as an artist and a teacher, so I am most interested in working with dancers who want to collaborate and contribute their own voices so that it can become our work and not mine alone.

3.) What skills outside of dance did you have to learn and incorporate to get where you are now?

So many things! You know that meme of the iceberg that shows all of the complex aspects that lie under the surface of something that seems relatively simple?  That’s what teaching is like, and teaching in the arts even more so.  We wear so many hats, and one of the first things that you learn when you begin teaching in higher education is to be adaptable and be willing.  I would also say, be ready to think on your feet, solve problems creatively, collaborate enthusiastically and generously, communicate with clarity and patience, and most of all, value your responsibility for the relationship between you and your students.