Angela Rosales Challis was invited to speak in a filmmakers panel about her experience with dance films and diversity
BYU dance professor Angela Rosales Challis spoke on a panel of diverse mountain west filmmakers on November 18. The panel was organized by UtahPresents, a multi-disciplinary presenter at the University of Utah.
Panel members each talked about their experiences as filmmakers in Utah and surrounding states. Challis shared her experience as a dancer and her entrance into the world of dance filmmaking.
Challis graduated from BYU with a bachelor’s degree in dance education. She taught dance at an elementary school level for several years. While working as a dance instructor, Challis decided to take a filmmaking class at a local community college, and she fell in love with film. She then decided to go back to school and get her master’s in film and media arts.
In the panel, Challis talked about a project she recently finished called Samskara, which focused on dancers from around the world sharing their different talents and views on dance and unity. Challis also shared her personal experience as a Latina woman living and working in the United States.
Challis is originally from Cochabamba, Bolivia. She emigrated to the U.S. to study dance at BYU and has been living and working in Utah ever since.
“Bolivia and Utah made me the artist that I am today,” Challis said. “What I like most about this place is that the artists come together to create.”
Challis has found a lot of support in her career, and she is grateful for the people who have helped her grow as an artist and filmmaker. She said that one of the pivotal moments in her career was when she announced that she would be leaving her job in dance education to return to school. She said she received a heartfelt goodbye from her coworkers, and she was overwhelmed by the love and support they offered her.
“I feel like, in my journey, I have found so many allies that have supported me,” Challis said.
Challis and the other panelists invited participants to look for ways to tell their own stories. They focused on giving minorities a place to share their stories and allowing everyone to give their own perspective.