Linda Celeste Sims thrills us year after year (16 to be exact) on stage with the Alvin American Dance Theater. Incredibly with an almost non-stop work schedule, and being on stage in leading roles nightly she has remained virtually injury free for 15 of them!! Personally I have watched her year after year and marveled at her consistency technically and her constant growth artistically. I wanted to know how she does it.While preparing to tape Sheyi our physical therapist we were speaking about body maintenance as one of our “tips” and she mentioned how Linda has a regime of body care and maintenance that could rival an Olympic athlete. That’s when I knew I had to have a sit down with her.
I have “known” Linda for years, meaning we have passed each other in the hallways of Ailey and have had brief conversations now and then but I have never had the chance to talk-talk to her. In person she is very petite and demure, she is often a bit withdrawn in her own world, very serious. It’s like, you kind of don’t want to disturb her… With her glasses on she looks like a nerdy, bookworm not like the powerful and grande lead dancer you see on the stage. When I sat down to talk to her I wasn’t sure how the interview would go, would she be open, would I have to ply her to speak? Well, let me tell you I got the shock of my life when this ball of energy started chatting away, she is like the dance version of Rosie Perez!! She was so generous and totally delightful it was a joy to learn more about her as a person and dancer.
When you hear how deeply she loves dance, and loves the work of dance it is amazing. It is only then that you understand where that dedication and commitment comes from that creates that consistency that we sit in awe of every time she takes the stage.
We met one day in between her lunch break/physical therapy sessions during a average work day at Ailey. I want to take this opportunity to thank her for squeezing this interview in!! I hope you all enjoy meeting Linda Celeste Sims (you have to say it with a Puerto Rican accent lol)