People of Little Tokyo-Arts District

 produced by MYAH WILLIAMS

In this conversation, Calvin Chester and I reunite after eight years apart. We were friends as teenagers growing up in North Little Rock, AR, acting and dancing together in high school musicals, and even going to prom with the same small group of friends. But since then, I hadn’t heard from or spoken to Calvin until we met one Friday afternoon at USC. Now he goes by “Cal,” has a faux-hawk and a handlebar mustache; the somewhat stocky build I remember has transformed into a graceful yet powerful dancer’s body. He is now one of ten principal dancers in LA’s innovative Diavolo Architecture in Motion dance company. But his story began nearly a decade ago in Conway, AR, when Cal’s high school dance troupe took a trip to see Diavolo perform. It was the first time he’d seen male dancers on stage who were big and powerful. They were like him. In this setting dance claimed him and hasn’t let go since.