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VCU wasn’t on Alysha Morgan’s (B.S.’16) radar when she was thinking about college, but a VCUarts brochure prompted her to audition for the dance department.

Her first visit on campus, including sitting in on a modern dance class, sealed the deal. Since graduating from VCU, she has lived and worked in Los Angeles and is now in New York, working as a professional dancer, living out her dreams. She credits VCU for giving her the space to be herself. 

Why did you choose VCU?

Funny story, actually. VCU wasn’t even on my list of universities but ended up being No. 1 from the minute I stepped on campus. I had all of my schools picked out and was excited to start auditioning for dance programs when I and three other friends got a VCUarts booklet in the mail. It looked fun and interesting enough for us all to decide to audition together. The campus alone was enough for me to be hooked, but there was something about watching that HUGE modern dance class accompanied by live drums and percussion that told me “This is your new home.” 

I hear that you’ve danced on Broadway. What do you love about dance? How did VCU prepare you for what you do and who you are today?

I always say I am extremely blessed that dance is what brought me to VCU. I started as a dance and choreography major but ultimately graduated with my bachelor of science in exercise science, in hopes of becoming a physical therapist for dancers later in life. I was also on VCU’s Gold Rush dance team for three years. 

Dance has been, and still is, a huge part of who I am. I love it because it goes hand in hand with music. It is the physical extension that words cannot express. Anyone who watches dance will feel something. 

VCU prepared me in so many ways for so many things, but most of all it prepared me to be a multifaceted human being. VCU prepared me to be the fitness professional as well as the professional dancer I am today. I never felt like I had to hide or choose any one part of me or my interests at VCU — and that is how I approach daily living. I now reside in New York City acting full-time on and off-Broadway, but I have many interests and many talents, and I am sure to nurture them all while using the tools provided to me in undergrad.

What excites you about the VCU Alumni New York City Chapter? What are you looking forward to this year?

I had no idea we had a NYC alumni chapter until an old colleague told me! I am so excited to get involved with events. My time at VCU is hands-down still my favorite chapter of my life, so I am excited to meet fellow Rams who love VCU and networking as much as I do. I missed the 2024 A-10 tournament events but I’m looking forward to what the rest of the year has to offer. 

Why should alumni stay connected with VCU?

There are so many opportunities and upsides to staying connected to VCU as an alum. Speaking to current students, networking with fellow alumni, building professional connections and so much more. I am just looking forward to giving back in any capacity I can to the institution that has made such a huge impact on my story. I’m a Ram for life. 

Anything else you’d like to share with us? Feel free to include personal or professional accomplishments 

I have had an amazing eight years since undergrad. I have lived in both Los Angeles and New York as a professional dancer, actress and choreographer. I’ve been on a national Broadway tour, [appeared in] a few national shoe commercials and danced on a cruise ship for a year and a half in a Tony award-winning show, to name a few [accomplishments].

My next show will be “A Wonderful World,” a musical about Louis Armstrong, opening this coming fall. My mantra is “Believe in the person you want to become.” There will be many people along the journey that will tell you your dreams are impossible. They’re wrong. I turned my childhood daydream into reality and have never once regretted it. Now I get to wake up every day excited about what’s to come. Go be that person that little you would be in awe of!

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