Alia Swersky is a movement artist, performer and teacher, engaged deeply in the vital act
of dance improvisation. She graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in1998 with a
BFA in dance and now teaches as part of the creative process curriculum at Cornish as an
adjunct faculty member since 2005.

She has taught at Velocity’s Strictly Seattle Festival and the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (SFDI). She was a long time Co-artistic director of Dance Art Group (DAG), a non-profit organization that promotes the practice and appreciation of dance and somatic education in the Seattle area, including the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation. Influences and inspiration come from her many years being immersed in movement practices and performance. Specific forms include contact
improvisation, release/somatic techniques, yoga, Authentic Movement, Tuning Scores,
Aikido, Buddhist meditation, and many pivotal dance partners and teachers.

Alia danced and toured nationally and internationally as a member of the LeGendre Performance
Group. She has also collaborated and performed in the works of many Seattle artists
some of which include The Maureen Whiting Company, Khambatta Dance Company,
Jurg Koch, KT Niehoff, and Salt Horse.


Alia has been actively teaching, performing, and creating improvisational and choreographic works in Seattle since 1998.

Artist Statement 

Some of my most profound dance experiences have taken place in living rooms, galleries, studios, fields, dusty parks, streets, and spaces one barely fits into.

These dances have been with my children, my students, strangers, random spectators, and my long-term movement collaborators.

My dancing path over the last two decades has been influenced and impacted by the realness and rawness of places and people.

I believe in embodied movement as a means towards social change and human understanding. This belief is like a seed surrounded by shadows. The heart of the seed is the evolutionary wisdom of the body and its multifaceted ability to communicate.


The shadow questions include:

  • How do we gain skill in consciously communicating through the diverse eco-system of the body?

  • How does our body teach us about belonging, especially in rapidly changing environments and a divided culture?

  • What history of dance are we dancing, and whose stories are missing?

  • How do I use my somatic understanding to communicate with those who may have felt alienated by my art, my race, and my privilege?

Photos by Jessa Carter