Arts & Culture Patron: Alice Duey

Alice Duey is an artist, educator, and child advocate. Through her work and participation in the community, she seeks to nurture the vibrant energy of our city. Her career in entertainment was spent primarily as a singer and dancer with Holland America Cruise Line and at Walt Disney World as a member of Actors’ Equity Association. Her main roles included: Dance Captain for the Magic Kingdom’s castle stage holiday show, and Lead Actor of “Disney Jr. Live on Stage.” Alice has performed extensively across the world, in television productions, dinner theaters, and with Universal Orlando. An Akron native, Alice trained under the tutelage of her mentors, Teri Martell, Kelly Berick, and Ron Hazelett. She continues to embrace her artistic expression through flamenco dancing with ABREPASO. Alice graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Child and Family Development from The University of Akron. She works as a guardian ad litem for the CASA Program with Summit County Juvenile Court.

Have you ever volunteered or contributed to local arts and cultural organizations in Summit County? If yes, how?

Martell School of Dance has been a steady, soft place to land throughout my life. As a child, Martell was the safe space where I unearthed my deep love for dance and most authentic ability to express myself through movement. My best friendships were formed within those Highland Square walls and my mom nurtured it all while working the front desk (as she still does to this day!). The Martell community is very special. This small business has evolved and since relocated to the Wallhaven district, but it remains a constant in my life. I continue teaching musical theatre classes there while contemporaneously pursuing artistic projects within the studio space. For instance, I’m currently offering mentorship to the incredible local dance crew The Black Beanz, as they prepare to take the World of Dance stage in California this month–all because we spontaneously began dancing together while at an event at Summit Artspace. The arts truly have a way of connecting people that feels like magic.

How has your involvement in arts and culture shaped your perspective and understanding of different cultures and communities?

Straight out of Firestone High School, I began performing on cruise ships and exploring the world. I traveled to over 60 countries, rarely speaking the local language. Yet, through this experience, there was something I could always rely on to warmly connect with others–music and dance. I find that to be true across our own diverse communities here in Summit County. There’s just something so purely innate about connection through shared movement. Rhythm is a language we can all feel–it’s a pulse, a breath, an opportunity to be together with some of the purest beats that we each experience as humans.

How do you think exposure to arts and culture at a young age can shape a person’s development and worldview?

While studying at The University of Akron, I focused my research on how the arts can impact child development, particularly in navigating adverse childhood experiences. While research in this area is relatively new, humanity has known for centuries that the arts can be a powerful tool in dealing with heavy experiences. For children processing the complexities of difficult circumstances, the arts offer a gentle way to help regulate the big emotions that come along with hardship. When words aren’t accessible, creative modalities may be.

How do you stay informed about upcoming arts and cultural events in Summit County?

Downtown Akron Partnership!