Alyssa Martin founded Rock Bottom Movement, a dance group whose goal is to draw crowds with spontaneous street performances. Photo courtesy Alyssa Martin

Rock Bottom rises to the top

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By Alexia Kapralos

As a dance major in fourth year and a recipient of the Kenny Pearl Award, Alyssa Martin has done everything but hit rock bottom.

Martin received the award on Nov. 13 for starting her own company called Rock Bottom Movement — a dance group whose goal is to draw crowds with spontaneous street performances.

Theatre school instructor Kenny Pearl, who donated the award to Martin, presented the student with a certificate of recognition accompanied by an unknown scholarship amount to go towards the dance company.

“Some people would laugh at my idea of dancing on the street,” Martin said. “But Kenny was the initial push. He came out to all the street shows and was supportive of the idea.”

The majority of these contemporary dance performances last about 15 to 20 minutes and the challenge consists of getting people who are not family or friends of the group members to watch.

“To get people to notice, we show a positive edge and have live musicians,” Martin said. “We try to keep it young and true to us.”

So far, the dance company has done approximately six performances, including their first indoor performance at a charity event called Venetian Ball, where they performed for about 800 guests. This was the largest audience the Rock Bottom Movement has danced for.

But for Martin, the most rewarding aspect of the Rock Bottom Movement is the people who she meets on the street. Plus, this is her own project and she gets to share it with the other dancers in the group.

“I get to share my vision without being restricted by the limits of school,” she said.

Martin doesn’t have any specific plans for the money yet. For now, her goal is to keep dancing.

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