The two major things I have cultivated through dance that have a place in my personal life are integrity and discipline — doing everything 100 percent with your being and the discipline of setting a task and sticking to it. Discipline is easily fostered just because the work we do is so rigorous and a daily practice. There is no time where an artist is off — we are always honing our craft, even during this time. I feel like discipline is the backbone of any artist’s journey and I'm lucky enough to have my career also be my passion, so it’s easy to stay passionate about the process of discipline or honing discipline.
Before college, I only trained seriously for four years, then I got into the conservatory at SUNY Purchase. So, to be considered for all this new repertoire there was huge to me. Then, to be taken out of the rep because the professors didn't know how to handle Black hair and couldn't figure out how to make an “appropriate” hair style for the specific ballet — I didn't know that was forshading my audition career. My talent not being seen but instead my hair being the catalyst for me being cut from an audition — that was a huge struggle for me. My Black identity and the beauty I see in myself was also the metric used against me to not advance in an audition and for not getting the part or the job. That was even a reason I didn't get into Ailey at one point.
Chalvar Monteiro began his formal dance training at Sharron Miller's Academy for the Performing Arts and went on to study at The Ailey School. He received his BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase, where he performed works by Merce Cunningham, Helen Pickett, Doug Varone, Paul Taylor, Kevin Wynn, and Dianne McIntyre. Since graduating, Mr. Monteiro has worked with Sidra Bell Dance New York, Elisa Monte Dance, Keigwin + Company, BODYTRAFFIC, and Abraham.In.Motion. He has assisted Kyle Abraham in setting and creating work for Barnard College, Princeton University, Emory University, Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Wendy Whelan's Restless Creature. Mr. Monteiro was a member of Ailey II and joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2015.