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From Cirque du Soleil to Usher, Get to know Professional Dancer & Choreographer Tiffany Violet De Alba

Robert Fulton - July 24, 2023, 6:57 p.m.

Summer Series: Candid Conversations with the Pros 

From Cirque du Soleil to Usher,
Get to know Professional Dancer & Choreographer: 
Tiffany Violet De Alba

Tiffany, a native of Paterson, New Jersey, began her dance journey at the age of ten at 5678 Dance Studio, then Rosa Parks High School of Fine and Performing Arts.  She danced her first professional job for the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ERS dance team while pursuing a BFA in Jazz Dance from the University of the Arts.  After graduation she danced on board a Disney Cruise Line before moving to Las Vegas where she landed LA MUERTE in Cirque Du Soleil’s Zumanity.  After 2.5 years the desire for change struck and she traveled to Europe to train with Roxane Huilmand, Nationale Theatro de Danza, Johaneswild, and more.  Tiffany returned to America for a 2nd contract with Cirque Du Soleil’s Beatles LOVE.

In 2019, she was asked to perform for the TITAS/UNBOUND 25th anniversary performance with friend and choreographer DJ Smart, alongside performers from Momix, Jessica Lang Company, LINES ballet and Alvin Ailey’s Clifton Brown. She’s also performed on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, The Latin Grammy’s, Life is Beautiful music festival and more.  In 2020 Tiffany’s tenacity and drive landed her her first national commercial with Usher and Jake Nava director for the #TeamUpfprExcellence campaign, shortly followed Ushers Residency show at the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace!  Although Tiffany lives to perform, she has found that her heart ignites in a different way with choreography and mentoring young students. There is nothing quite like giving back to students and blank canvas artists.  Combining her 16 + years of training, 13 years of professional stage experiences and with her ancestral passion to discover the infinite ways of communicating through movement, she is a one of a kind artist, performer and educator.

You’ve had quite a diverse career. What are some of the highlights?

"I have had such a fruitful and versatile career thus far that I do not take for granted! I would have to say that a few highlights have been Zumanity with Cirque Du Soleil , Usher X Remy Martin national commercial campaign, working with Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman as a featured dancer in an excerpt of his modern version of Swan Lake, and performing for 100,000 people during a Life is Beautiful collab between The Beatles Love by Cirque Du Soleil and Foster the People!"

Ballet Dancers already get bored with 20 shows of Nutcracker. With how Cirque is structured, you perform the same show around 300 times per year. How do you keep each show new and exciting?

"Actually with Cirque Du Soleil the yearly show count per contract is around 470 shows a year ! About a hundred more than days in a year , it quite crazy to think about. With the Beatles Love show , your track is never the exact same as the night before so that absolutely helped. But for me, a new audience each show means new ways to find inspiration so I definitely use the audience as fuel for change and breaking up the monotony! I’m a big storyteller in my head so my motivation and intentions change often while performing to keep me on my own toes!"

You took a break from your professional career to go train in Europe, exploring new styles as well as choreography. Tell us more! How did this influence your approach to dance as well as your love for dance?

“In 2017, I felt a strong calling to continue to train and reconnect with dance as I had been feeling a bit stifled after doing 2.5 years of Zumanity with Cirque Du Soleil. The goal was to travel throughout Europe taking any classes and workshop I could get myself into and I did just that for what ended up being 5 and a half months! This trip changed the way I viewed mainly contemporary dance and unlocked new levels of passion and artistry for me which eventually blossomed into belief in myself as a choreographer. I studied under companies like DV8 physical theater, Batsheva and Hofesh Sheter and discovered new movement vocabularies and conceptual choreographic thinking.“

EMAIL EXCLUSIVE: BalletScout is all about auditions, so, what are some similarities and some differences you see when auditioning for different shows with different styles, like Ballet, Cirque, and Usher. Is there a common trait that has helped you succeed in all of them?

“Auditioning is a skill I believe I have finally mastered 20 years in the industry! The commonality in no matter which style audition is prepartion and a little research for me. Knowing exactly who / what you are auditioning for, realistically analyzing what you may think they looking for and do you fit that ? I never walk into an audition without having done my research & making sure I look the part ! Wearing correct attire for the show or artist shows experience and diligence, And lastly, authenticity! Being yourself is always key, the healthiest jobs should never ask you to compromise who you are and should highlight your individuality as an artist!"