The Artsy Jumbo | Yessenia Rivas knows her moves
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2012 08:11
Yessenia Rivas has been dancing almost since she could walk, and started taking formal lessons at the age of two. As an avid choreographer, dancer and actor in groups like Spirit of Color, Sarabande and the 3Ps, she’s a huge presence in Tufts’ drama and dance community.
Rivas choreographed her first routine in her senior year of high school for her dance studio. She has since created several routines for various productions, addressing difficult topics like her struggle with bulimia in last spring’s “Love is Louder.”
“To help me get ideas across in the routine, I had the dancers tell me their personal struggles and fears,” she said. “One of their fears was of not being accepted. We took that feeling of isolation and tried to work it into the routine. [But the piece] could be interpreted any way by the audience.”
When she’s working on a routine, Rivas has a specific idea of what to look for in the songs that accompany her dance.
“I’m big on telling stories, so a lot of the time when I’m choreographing, it’s my way to tell a story about something that’s bothering me or something I’m going through and finding the song that goes along with it,” she said. “I really love listening to beats and lyrics and getting through to the meaning of the song.”