I have been blessed to be part of the Southwest Family since my Dad started working at the Company in 1997. As a kid, I was really shy, yet somehow my Dad and his friends at work always figured out a way to get me to come out of my shell to sing or dance.
Whether it was tap dancing in the St. Louis airport for Black History Month, flying to perform at schools and churches, or partnering with Southwest to do a video for National Dance Day, the Southwest Family has always supported me in the air and on the ground as I have pursued my dreams in dance.
More than flying and traveling, I believe Southwest has a truly unique Culture based on LUV. What would happen in the world if more companies loved and valued people in such a way that creative ideas were realized? I had the pleasure of hearing Herb Kelleher, Founder of Southwest Airlines, speak in 2011. He shared an insight to unlocking each person’s creative freedom when he said, “A Company is stronger if it is bound by love rather than by fear.” By operating out of love, Southwest encourages ideas and innovation that may otherwise seem risky. For me, this brings me back to my love of dance.
I am a tap dancer; historically, my art form has come from the feet of slaves collaborating with Irish immigrants. It has known the face of segregation and discrimination rooted in hatred, as well as the power that has come when the art form was appreciated and the dancers were valued and loved.
When I contacted some of the Leaders from Southwest about doing a dance video, initially, I just wanted permission to film in the airport. But they went beyond permission and said they would not only be willing to allow me to film, but would “LUV” to partner with me for National Dance Day. WOW! I appreciate that Southwest values the creative insights of young leaders in such a way that they are willing to partner with individuals like me to do projects like this.
I cannot thank the Employees of Southwest Airlines enough for believing in me, loving me, and creating an incredible Company Culture. Keep dancing, and fly with these guys, because the Family at Southwest truly does deliver a different rhythm in your travel experience.
David Alexander with his Dad Maurice in the St. Louis airport between filming the Southwest Airlines National Dance Day video.
The Happy National Dance Day video was developed by two 22-year-old artists and entrepreneurs—David Alexander and his friend, Christian Barrino, who filmed and produced the music. For more information, please visit DavidJAlexander.com and ImagingByChristian.com. Special thanks to actor Maurice Alexander and actress Joy Asbill!