Raissa Simpson’s PUSH Dance Company Builds Vibrant Contemporary Dances To Gain A Deeper Understanding Of The Challenges Attributed To Mixed Heritage.


In Conversation with Cherie Hill

PUSH Dance Company is proud to present choreography by Cherie Hill on September 29-30, 2018 for PUSHfest Program B at ODC Theater in San Francisco. 


Tell us a little bit about your dance background.

I began making dances as a child while playing at recess. I continued my dance studies as a student at Orange County High School of the Arts and received a BA in Dance from UC Berkeley, and an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Colorado Boulder. I love many styles: modern, contemporary, West African and Caribbean. Currently, I teach creative dance, improvisation, and dance composition.

What can audiences look forward to seeing in your work at PUSHfest?

Dance that is experimental and socially relevant. We are dancing about the struggles of gentrification and displacement from an authentic place related to our personal and communal experiences. The work is honest and raw, revealing inner stories and truths.

What are the major sources of inspiration for your choreography?

I am inspired by all the great dance-making processes that I have been a part of and have witnessed, especially here in the Bay Area. I’m pulling from my own story of being displaced from Oakland through a deep process of improvisation and social awareness. The endeavors of good people, my appreciation for God and nature, and strong faith motivate me each day.

If you hadn’t chosen this career, what might you have been doing in your life?

I’d work in human rights. Fighting for justice and equity for all people regardless of their color or status.

What advice would you pass on to an aspiring choreographer?

Keep making dance. Whether it is done through videotaping yourself in some remote location, asking your friends to be part of a show, or choreographing for a kids recital, keep creating. With positive thought and consistency, your efforts will pay off.

Learn more: iriedance.com