Well, nothing’s impossible. The folks at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater want everyone to know that dance is not a spectator sport. Just as the world-renowned dance company’s performances are open to anyone and everyone, so, too, are classes offered at the company’s midtown Manhattan headquarters at 55th Street and Ninth Avenue.
Inspired by the vision of the late Alvin Ailey, today the Ailey organization offers a range of programs and classes that include The Ailey School’s pre-professional and professional training classes, the academic Ailey/Fordham BFA program and AileyCamp, among others. But, not to be forgotten is that unique movement oasis called the Ailey Extension that offers some 80 classes a week in more than 25 different dance and fitness techniques in the AAADT’s spacious, sun-drenched studios. On the Ailey website the extension is described simply as “Real Classes for Real People.”
ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER | NEW YORK, NY
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT) is a modern dance company based in New York, New York. It was founded in 1958 by choreographer and dancer Alvin Ailey. It is made up of 32 dancers, led by artistic director Robert Battle and associate artistic director Masazumi Chaya.
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for an estimated 23 million people in 48 states, as well as 71 countries on six continents. Among these performances are included two South African residencies. The company has often been an ambassador for American culture, starting with President John F. Kennedy’s Southeast Asia tour program. The troupe toured southeast Asia and Australia in 1962, and performed in the International Arts Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1963. They performed at the first World Festival of Negro Arts in Dakar, Senegal, in 1966. The same year, AAADT performed at the Edinburgh Festival, earning awards for “best choreographer”, and “best company”. They were also awarded “best male dancer” at the International Dance Festival in Paris in 1970, the same year that they did a six-city tour of the USSR. The company and its dancers and artistic staff have been recognized as cultural ambassadors numerous times, as in the 2001 awarding of the National Medal of Arts to both Judith Jamison and the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation. (Wikipedia).