Alonzo King, founder of Alonzo King LINES Ballet, making history through dance in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- February is Black History Month and ABC7 News is celebrating by sharing the stories of people making history in the Bay Area.

Alonzo King's parents were leaders in the civil rights movement. He infused those lessons into his love of dance, blazing his own trails along the way.

King is the founder, artistic director, and choreographer of LINES Ballet in San Francisco.

RELATED: Adorable ballerinas pose in honor of Black History Month

"You want to communicate to people you are not just a body. And that's one of the ironies of dancing. Because it can for you because we're looking at the bodies but it's the message behind the movement that's really the priority," says King. "I feel incredibly fortunate to do what I wanted to do to be doing the thing that I chose to do and to take it around the world."

He founded it when he was 30, but movement has always been a part of his life.

"It was a way for me to enter into a different world and what we called the normal world seem to fade and I would disappear into rhythms and feelings and emotion and it was fun," said King.

ABC7 News asked King what it was like growing up with parents that were involved in the civil rights movement.

RELATED: Justice Teri Jackson reveals what it took to become the first African American woman appointed to California's Court of Appeal

"It was incredibly inspiring because I lived with people who I saw coming in and out of jail I went to mass meetings where I would hear Bernice Johnson Reagan singing we shall overcome. And don't let nobody turn you around. And seeing people who are willing to die for what they believed in was beautifully inspiring and intimidating," said King.

As for his secret to success?

"I've heard people talk about success and they say well if I had met this person or if I had met that person or had been in this situation or in that family or this city at that particular time that has nothing to do with it. Success is in here. It's how you think," said King. "When you believe in something you have to turn the either. Regardless if there's any visible evidence that something is coming. You dive into it you devote yourself to it."
Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.