The independent student newspaper at Goucher College

Athlete to Watch: Alyssa Boykin

Tess Seibert ‘25

Alyssa Boykin (she/her) from Fort Washington, MD, is a senior biology major, minoring in dance with a concentration in dance science. She is president of the Dancers of Color Coalition (DOCC) and is on the 1021 Hip Hop Team. Alyssa is involved in a myriad of works on campus this term: choreography being set by visiting professor Christopher Law, a duet with fellow student Aaliyah Hatcher that will be sent to a regional American College Dance Association conference in mid-March, and an independent study by Carter Hinton-Ayodele. While that list may seem exhausting, Alyssa admits that finding balance in her workload has been easier compared to previous semesters. 

In looking back on the significance of studying dance at Goucher, Alyssa’s enthusiasm for history is clear. She praises classes taught by Mustapha Braimah and former faculty member Dr. Iquail Shaheed that foster discussion on the origins of dance practices and culture. She additionally appreciates that reflection has been central to her experience as a dance student.

For instance, Alyssa created a project her freshman year for a seminar taught by Linda Garofalo mapping how dance would show up in her career after college, which she still references now. 

Alyssa’s relationship with dance has been, like any, one with its ups and downs. “I apparently could not stop spinning around when I was little so my parents were like: DANCE!” After starting young, she stopped for a period as a teenager, but returning became irresistible; she missed the expressivity of movement. While she doesn’t foresee dancing professionally, Alyssa is confident that dance will always be a part of her life because of its capacity to influence an emotional, even visceral response from its viewers:

“Whenever people say that Aaliyah and I’s duet made them cry I’m like ‘That’s exactly what it’s supposed to do!’ If I do not make you cry, then I did not do that dance right. Just like – you know – if you see people moving and grooving on stage and you’re like ‘Oh my god, that looked like such a fun time!’”

When asked about her most cherished Goucher dance memory, Alyssa had two top answers. The first was her involvement in a piece choreographed in the fall of 2022 by then-senior, now-graduate Jackie Spencer. She emphasizes the deeply spiritual energy she tapped into through the community of that cast, and cites that creative process as the beginning of many meaningful friendships. The piece debuted at the DOCC Showcase, an annual fall occasion and Alyssa’s favorite event to put on as DOCC president due to its familial atmosphere. Tied in personal importance was performing at the Jewell Robinson Dinner last spring in a work set by visiting artist James Atkinson. 

Alyssa has been accepted to Marymount University where she will start her physical therapist’s certification this August. After graduate school, she aims to specialize in performance arts rehabilitation with the ultimate goal of traveling with a company as an on-set PT. 

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