Instructor Spotlight: Wisty Andres
Remember the board game Candy Land? Where every corner of the game was decorated in crazy colors and delicious treats— and totally out of this world? That’s what it’s like to talk to Boston ((305)) instructor Wisty Andres. Wisty is a chameleon of an artist, switching seamlessly between live dance performances for “psychedelic metal” bands and teaching little kids how to do the perfect ballet plie.
We caught up with Wisty to hear from the source what it takes to be a full-time dancer, part-time Reiki healer, and some-time game show performer.
How did you end up in Boston? Start from the beginning.
The beginning? Alright! I was born in Japan. Then I moved to Ohio when I was 6. Then I lived in woods in a small boarding school dedicated to the arts, the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. Then I went south to the real 305! I got an associate degree from the New World School of Arts. I followed love up to Boston. I lost the boy, but I kept Boston.
Good girls don’t sit still. I love it. So you’ve been dancing...forever?
Basically. When I was young I wanted to do everything. I’ve played piano, the clarinet, practiced gymnastics, and tried all forms of dance. I became very focused on ballet when I was about 12. I wanted to be ballerina, bun head and everything. That dream has shifted a little bit—I do all forms of dance and enjoy working with companies that stimulate me emotionally, physically, and intellectually.
So what types of dance are you up to today?
I bopped around dance companies for a while, but I’m primarily working with The Lorraine Champman Company, a modern dance company that is really fulfilling to work for as an artmaker. I also dance and perform in a lot of random gigs. One that’s coming up will be at the Wilbur Theater [Editor’s Note: This is a big deal.] It’s called the Old School Game Show—it’s literally and old timey game show where people come on stage. It’s goofy, cheesy, wonderful live theater with plenty of dramatic reveals.
My speciality is collaborating with live musicians and improvising to their music. One band called of the Of The Sun is like a psychedelic, metal, tribal band. Throat singing, tribal drums, bass guitars—the works. I dance at most of their shows, and the music just shakes up my cells AHHH. It’s the most fun.
And of course ((305)). I teach kids too, but teaching adults at ((305)) is more fulfilling for me.
What does working at ((305)) mean to you?
It’s my happy place. It’s the one hour where I literally do not think about anything else except for ((305)). It’s an incredible active meditation and a reminder that dream jobs do come true.
What do you say to folks who are nervous about trying ((305)) for the first time?
I believe that giving advice depends on the person. So if the person asking is not confident in themselves, I tell them no one is watching and the lights are dim. If someone is worried about their lack of dance experience, I say that all you have to do is jump up and down, and I’m cool with that. Everyone is at different level, and everyone has a different body. Right before choreo starts, I tell the class that now is the time to let go of any judgement.
And if they’re a friend of mine, I just say “come watch me be silly and yell at you to twerk.”
Boston is so lucky to have you! Did I hear this right, are you a Reiki master? Also...what’s Reiki?
Yes! It’s basically a hand-on, “universal” energy work and healing practice. It’s the ancient practice of healing through channeling energy. Everyone has an energy body along with the physical body—some people call this an aura. Reiki helps reset the energies when they’re blocked to help them flow again. It works similar to acupuncture, but instead of needles I use my hands. If you don’t like being touched, it can be hands-off and I can just hover my hands over your body.
That’s amazing. I feel like I need some of that. Okay time to wrap up. What’s on deck for 2017 Wisty?
I’m kind of in a transition from one version of me to another…you know, like Pokémon evolutions. Throughout life we change, and I embrace those changes. Sometimes it happens very quickly. I love just taking in what is around me, and sponging up the best parts into my person. I’m also working on being more self-motivated. Most of my life I’ve been externally motivated by teachers, school, or bosses. It’s time to show me that I’m the one in charge.