Webster Voices - Alicia Mack | Webster University

Get Used to Being ‘Slightly Uncomfortable’

Alicia Mack is an inspiring teacher and gifted writer and dancer.

Alicia Mack, MA

Department of Dance
Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts

“An environment to grow and experiment without any pretense.”

Named by Smithsonian Magazine as an American Innovator of the Arts and Sciences, Alicia Mack is an inspiring teacher and gifted writer and dancer. The former lead dancer of Alvin Ailey is co-founder with her sister of D(n)A Arts Collective, an initiative to empower and enrich the human experience through dance and music.

How would you describe your teaching style?

I am a dynamic, high-energy teacher. I expect a lot from my students and I challenge them to work at their highest level every day. I enjoy structure and professionalism, but I want their unique personalities and perspectives to shine through.

What motivates you?

I am motivated to be the best teacher that I can be because I have had so many incredible teachers and mentors in my life. I seek daily inspiration in music, movement, stories, my children and my students.

Alicia Mack posing on chair in dance studio

What makes teaching at Webster distinctive?

I love working at Webster because it provides an environment to grow and experiment without any pretense. The students are incredibly curious and hard working.

What is the focus of your scholarship?

Physical and mental discipline. I always tell my students that they should get used to being “slightly uncomfortable.” That is the space of challenge where growth occurs. They have to learn to love that space.

What are you most curious about?

I am interested in the art of teaching. I am still learning how to teach the techniques that I have performed for over 30 years. Ideas are constantly evolving and I want to stay current.

Alicia Mack leaning over dance rail

What is your favorite travel destination?

I love the eastern coast of Brazil. Give me warm weather, a beach, beautiful people and great music and I am all set!

What's always in your suitcase?

Ballet shoes.

How do you translate your passion in life to the classroom?

There is no greater satisfaction than achieving big dreams. I have seen my dreams come true. I am here to support my students in reaching their goals, no matter what they are.

What is your superpower?

Seeing the glass half full. That is not always easy.

Who is the person, living or dead, you most admire?

My dad. He defines love, generosity, selflessness and intelligence. My mom is pretty amazing too!

What three words best describe you?

Mover. Dreamer. Conqueror.

Alicia Mack in dance studio


Alicia Mack

Dance Degree Programs

The Dance degree program at Webster University prepares students for careers in performance, choreography, and teaching.