In 1979, a young New York City boy met Alvin Ailey at his public elementary school during a dance workshop; unbeknownst to him it was an audition. Then nine-year-old Troy Powell had no idea who Mr. Ailey was and no formal dance training, although he came from a large African American family where dance was interwoven into their everyday home life. "I was handpicked to join the first children's program at The Ailey School, and the experience made a huge impact and changed my life," says Powell, who continued to climb the ranks through the School's professional division, Ailey II, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He succeeded Sylvia Waters in 2012 as Ailey II's Artistic Director.
Ana Marie Forsythe
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A dancer discovers the satisfactions of learning the famously demanding technique. Ana Marie Forsythe's eyes twinkle, and a smile plays at the corners of her mouth as she welcomes the 40-plus teachers who are enrolled for her two-week-long Horton teacher-training workshop at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater studios in New York City - plus me, a dancer and writer, taking part for the day.
Ana Marie Forsythe still remembers her first Horton technique class, in the late 1950s at the Newark Ballet Academy. Former Horton dancer Joyce Trisler came, at Fred Danieli's invitation, to teach class to his students, who Danieli felt needed to be more versatile dancers.