Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congressional resolution as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” grew from a now fabled performance in New York in March 1958, when Alvin Ailey (1931-1989) founded the company. Today, led by Artistic Director Judith Jamison, Ailey has performed for an estimated 23 million people in 48 states and in 71 countries on six continents, including two historic residencies in South Africa, promoting the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance tradition.
Ailey’s New York City Center season takes place every December, and for the third year in a row Ailey will be performing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in 2010. Throughout the year, AAADT’s North American Tour (February-May) takes the company to dozens of cities.
The Ailey organization also includes Ailey II (1974), Ailey’s second company in residence; the Ailey School (1969), one of the most extensive dance training programs in the world; Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs, which brings dance into the classrooms, communities and lives of people of all ages; and the Ailey Extension, a program offering dance and fitness classes to the public that began with the opening of Ailey’s permanent home—the nation’s largest building dedicated to dance—the Joan Weill Center for Dance.
The Ailey Extension offers classes at all levels in a non-competitive environment. Since its inception, over 30,000 people have taken classes there. Dynamic classes taught by expert teachers are offered seven days a week on a walk-in basis in a wide variety of techniques for all levels, including Horton, West African, ballet, hip-hop and jazz, underscoring Alvin Ailey’s life-long commitment of bringing dance to everyone.
Dance classes are open to the public on a walk-in basis, in accordance with Alvin Ailey’s dictum “dance is for everybody.” Information on the Ailey Extension, including a schedule of classes, can be found at www.aileyextension.com. For more information on the Ailey organization, please visit www.alvinailey.org.
The Ailey Extension offers featured classes for children and teens in a “no pressure” atmosphere. The Extension’s toddler program, Tiny Steps, is a series of movement and creative movement classes. Weekly classes are designed to engage children, parents and caregivers through group and individual participation. Children develop body awareness and control while exploring their own creativity to understand the connection between dance, rhythm and music. The Extension’s teen classes explore ballet and hip-hop. There is no placement audition for these classes and no prior dance experience is necessary. This relaxed environment allows teens to gain confidence in both their dancing abilities and themselves. For more information on the Ailey Extension’s classes for toddlers and teens, please visit www.aileyextension.com.
In fulfillment of Alvin Ailey’s long-standing dictum, “dance is for everybody,” the Ailey organization is committed to bringing dance into the classrooms, communities, and lives of people throughout the world. Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs have given more than 100,000 young people from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to explore their creative potential while also imparting life-skills such as teamwork and self-discipline.
Programs can include mini-performances by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Ailey II, Ailey’s second company in residence. Additionally, schools can organize dance training through AileyDance Kids as well as curriculum-based programs, such as Revelations: An Interdisciplinary Approach which utilizes Alvin Ailey's signature work, Revelations, as the inspirational framework for a comprehensive study of language arts, social studies, and dance. For more information on the Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs, please visit www.alvinailey.org.
Alternatively, groups can create an unforgettable experience by planning a “Day at Ailey” with a Group Coordinator who will design a curriculum that is tailored to each group’s unique needs. There are many options for groups, including private classes, participation in regular open classes, class observations, and discounted tickets to see Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Groups taking class can choose from a diverse range of dance techniques, including Horton, West African, ballet, jazz, Afro-Caribbean, hip-hop, samba, yoga, Pilates, and tap. Classes are available at varying levels, from beginning dancers through professionals.
For more information and to plan your visit, please visit www.alvinailey.org.