iON Featured Athlete: Dancer, Akua Noni Parker on sharing her gifts...

Recently I had the great pleasure of meeting many of the amazing athlete/artists of the acclaimed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. This year the company is celebrating it's 60th anniversary. We had a brief chat with Leading Dancer, Akua Noni Parker about her gifts on and off stage! ~ a.d.


Acclaimed Dancer Akua Noni Parker

photo: Jim Lafferty, DIYDancer Magazine Issue #2

Did you always believe your gifts would lead you to where you are now?

A: I can’t say that I honestly thought about it in that way. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a ballerina! I can’t say that I knew exactly where that would take me. I don’t remember my goals being “set up” that way. I think if I would’ve decided on a specific company with which to dance, I may have overlooked or missed an opportunity to just be a part of the companies that I have. And the whole goal has always been to be employed and dance. Get the job first, then show up and do the work. Then, when it’s time to move on, for whatever reason, the universe will create a space for that, when the time is right.


"Everyone has a different timeline. It’s ok to find a different tunnel with a different light at the end of it too" ~ Akua Noni Parker


How did you gain strength to overcome the challenges that came along the way?

A: Strength comes from within you! (Well, and I’ve always had a super supportive family!) I am a true believer that if you claim something and strive towards that goal, it will come to fruition. My eye has always been on the goal, but I have always allowed myself to be ok with making mistakes. Learning helps me continue to press through something that may be a bit more challenging. I try not to form too many negative opinions about things that I have not tried, or gone through myself.

Akua Noni Parker

photo: Melika Dez

What word can you give to encourage someone who may be in a tough period now and finds it hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel?