Hi! My name is Anouk Otsea. I was born and raised in Juneau, Alaska, Lingít Aaní, home of the A'akw Kwáan and T'aaḵu Kwáan peoples.The majority of my formative years were spent in carpools between dance rehearsals, ski races, and violin lessons. Thankfully, for my parents, Juneau’s road map is finite and “traffic” means a handful of cars backed up behind a snow plow.
I learned to dance both in the studio and on the mountain– oscillating rhythmically between race gates or snow-covered spruce trees taught me as much about movement as pliés and tendus. I am grateful for my dance family, which took me across states and oceans, and showed me the innate human connections that transcend language barriers.
Two years of high school at Walnut Hill School for the Arts led me to a BFA in dance with a minor in religious studies at the LINES Ballet BFA Program. There, I was gifted opportunities to explore dance through the lenses of history, socio-economics, culture, and psychology. I recognized the artistic nature of life across all realms– however adventurous or mundane. I fell in love with writing, redwood trees, cooking, pour-over coffee, and walking long city blocks overlooking the Bay.
My journey to Chicago has been like gradually assembling a jigsaw puzzle, with pieces falling into place every few years. Summer programs at Hubbard Street and the Common Conservatory and a creative process with Alice Klock brought me in and out of this vibrant city. Along the way, I encountered inspiring individuals and crafted beautiful relationships, eventually leading me to move from Alaska in November 2021. Occasionally my heart aches for coastal mountains, glaciers, and bald eagles, but the grace and support I find in this brilliant group of artists gives me new mountains to climb and forests to explore.