Alyah Baker started dancing at age four. She has trained and performed with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet of New York, Oakland Ballet, Richmond Ballet, and Carolina Ballet. In 2003 she received a BA in Sociology with a Dance Minor from Duke University, where she trained under former Joffrey Ballet principal Tyler Walters and Clay Taliaferro, a long time principal dancer with José Limón Dance Co., among others. She has been featured in works by George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Laura Dean, José Limón, and Alonzo King. After relocating to Oakland, CA, she began her professional dance career, performing with Oakland Ballet, Dance Through Time, and ABD Productions, among others.
Baker is a freelance teacher and has taken her educational series Ballet for Black and Brown Bodies to studios throughout the United States. Currently, Baker is pursuing an MFA in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis at Duke University. Her studies are focused on developing an alternative pedagogical approach to ballet technique that honors the embodied knowledge of “othered bodies”— specifically that of Black, queer, and gender-fluid folks—and exploring paths to move the form away from the social constructs of race, gender expression, and sexual orientation.