49 Voices: Ives Viray in Anchorage

This week we’re hearing from Ives Viray from Anchorage. Viray is a professional break-dancer and is looking to open Express Dance Studio early next year.

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Ives Viray in Anchorage (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage)
Ives Viray in Anchorage (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)

VIRAY: I just saw slightly older kids doing it. It was at a local Spenard recreational center actually. I was always athletic and I saw these kids doing acrobatic things and I was like, ‘Woah. That’s new to me.’ I feel like I can take my athleticism and put it towards this dance that they’re doing. And it kinda came natural too, ’cause growing up just doing sports all your life, it was like you already had the flexibility and the strength was there, so it kinda came natural. It was almost like I was destined to walk into that room that they were dancing in.

I’ve competed in places I never thought I would touch. My first place I ever been to was Seattle, WA, my first place I ever competed out of state. Different countries like Korea, China, Poland and Canada.

If I stick with this for the rest of my life I feel like it’ll bring me somewhere, ’cause it’s truly my passion. And it’s brought me here to little small studio that I’m soon to open up. I just looked at it as a space where… it’s like a sanctuary for me and my friends to practice at. And then we were like, ‘Hey. Why not provide services, teach classes. Let’s share what we can do, share what we can share and let’s give back to our community.’

I feel like I will see where this studio will take me, and if it goes nowhere but up, I’ll stick with it and I feel like this will really spark Alaska up. The thing about Alaska is that you have to go out and reach out to grab your dream.

Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

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