Matthew Rushing, dancer for Alvin AIley American Dance Theater

On a visit to Boston to see the company we managed to steal some time with dancer Matthew Rushing, star of our Dancer’s Diary, to talk to him about his love for dance, his career, and touring the UK.


Posted on

Turning Point

Matthew grew up in Engleberg, LA and was first introduced into dance through an after school programme which his mother enrolled him in to deter him from following in the footsteps of his older brothers who were ‘pretty heavily into gang violence.’

The programme not only included dance but also playwriting, theatre and vocal classes offering students the chance to experience many at forms and make their choice to pursue any one of them whilst providing everyone with a holistic background in the arts.

Matthew began to love dance, however, he thought that it wouldn’t make him any money so he actually wanted to be an advertising agent. At the age of 13 came the turning point when Matthew knew that his career would be in dance. ‘The moment my mother first took me to see Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at Wiltern Theater and I saw the company for the first time.’ His mother knew he loved dance but she wanted him to get a taste for the real thing.

‘Once I saw the company, that’s when I knew what I wanted to do.’

With the UK tour fast approaching we were interested to find out what Matthew was most looking forward to about visiting the country again. ‘I know this sounds strange but the bus rides! I love the bus rides like going from London to Newcastle or Nottingham, the drive is so peaceful. On tour there is a lot of in and out, pack your luggage, performing, get on the plane, but its those moments of resting and experiencing the countryside, and the nature that sets me up for the city. Plus I love the food, I love eating out, great food’

We are always interested to hear what dancer’s take on tour with them and asked Matthew what three things he couldn’t go on tour without:

‘I couldn’t go on tour without my bible, I have a very strong spiritual connection with God and that sustains me through the tour. I can’t go without my music, my ipod! The other thing would have to be my video camera, just to have some keepsakes of the experiences I’ve had, video taping performances, bus rides and even when on tour I like to choreograph so I use it to video tape my work’