Aaliyah Flournoy is a senior at Boston University majoring in advertising and minoring in Korean. Aside from her studies, Aaliyah has carried her passion for dance into college, fitting in practices with her teams every day of the week. Aaliyah’s skills and dedication have earned her every dancer’s dream—to perform on a global competitive dance television show based in Seoul, South Korea. The COMmunicator sat down with Aaliyah to discuss her experience dancing at BU and how it lead to the biggest performance of her dance career.
Jessica Zagorski: When did you discover your passion for dance?
Aaliyah Flournoy: I found my love for dancing when I was three years old. My entire family has always been passionate about the arts and they decided to put me in a class. I started off with jazz, tap, and ballet, and then I was introduced to street style and K-pop dancing when I came to BU.
JZ: Which dance groups are you currently involved in?
AF: Within BU, I dance on an urban-style team called Unofficial Project, as well as the K-pop team, miXx. I also joined a crew outside of BU named Concept Artist. Both Unofficial Project and Concept Artist perform in local competitions within Boston, whereas miXx gets together and covers dances to post on it’s Youtube channel.
JZ: Can you tell me about this upcoming international TV show that you’ve been selected for?
AF: I’ll be performing in a televised dance competition called Stage K. JTBC, a well-known broadcasting company in South Korea, is debuting the show as a new concept that allows competitors from all across the globe to cover K-pop dances and showcase their talents.
JZ: How exactly do they find and pick the dancers for the show?
AF: The show basically hosts a multi-step audition process. My roommate is the president of miXx and they reached out to her over Instagram saying that the team should apply for the show. The process began with preliminary rounds involving a video submission and then a local audition where about 20 of us were sent to New York to perform. Now that I’ve gotten past the first few rounds, I’ll be flying to Seoul where I get to compete on the main stage of the show.
JZ: Congratulations! Now that you’ve made it onto the show, what sort of preparation do you have to undertake?
AF: Over the past few weeks, they have been in contact with me to basically make sure I’m on track with everything. I’m learning three songs that I’ve been assigned by the company in case I make it through all three rounds. They’ve also had me send in practice videos a few times a week to ensure that I know all the lyrics and facial expressions needed for a compelling performance.
JZ: I’m sure there’s a lot to be excited about. What are you most looking forward to?
AF: I love performing, and to be doing it on such a big stage, especially as a solo artist, is a huge honor. They took me from my team and told me that I was going to perform alone, so I guess that was definitely one of the biggest shocks for me. Also, the show is hosted by real K-pop idols. So, for the round that I’m entering now, I’ll be against three to four other teams and then the fourth round is head-to-head with one other team or solo act. Whoever wins that round will get to perform with the idols, as well as earn a $5,000 cash prize.
JZ: Do you plan on pursuing a career in dance after graduating from BU?
AF: Ideally, yes, it’s something that I’d love to do. However, I also know it can be a very long and challenging journey for dancers. I’m definitely looking to keep it on the side for now and hopefully try and fully pursue it in the future. In the meantime, I’m currently working as a marketing intern for a sort of start-up business called Boston Night Market. It’s a large festival in the greater Boston area that hosts food, art, and entertainment for locals. It’s been really enjoyable. I’ve discovered that I have an interest for account management and planning, as well as doing work on the creative end.
JZ: How can we look out for you on Stage K?
AF: The first episode aired the first week of April. I am still practicing and will be performing in the near future. It’ll be airing on Korean TV, as well as streaming live on Youtube!
Jessica Zagorski, Staff Writer
Jessica Zagorski is a senior at Boston University majoring in public relations. As an avid city lover, Jessica hopes to move to NYC or London to pursue her dream of working at a fashion publication. You can typically find her exploring style blogs, smiling at dogs, or behind the lens of her camera.