Lisa Johnson-Willingham

Lisa Johnson-Willingham, born in Washington, DC, is a graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and received a B.F.A. from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She was a member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for six years, 1993-1999. Ms. Johnson-Willingham also danced with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, New World Dance Company, Donald Byrd/The Group, Joel Hall Dance Company, Deeply Rooted Productions, Cerqua/Rivera Art Experience, Nucleus Dance Collective, and Complexions. As a choreographer, she has set pieces on such dance companies as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Joel Hall Dance Company, Cerqua/Rivera Art Experience, Melissa Thodos and Dancers, One World Dance Theater and Hubbard Street II. Her leadership experience in the arts includes a decade-long position as Director of AileyCamp Chicago, working as Director of dance programs at the Dance Conservatory of Chicago High School for the Arts and Whitney Young Magnet High School, and teaching at Columbia College, Olive Harvey College, and Joffrey Academy of Dance.

Featured News Releases

Lisa Johnson-Willingham Named as New Director of The Ailey Extension

The Ailey Organization announced that Lisa Johnson-Willingham, a former dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, has been named Director of The Ailey Extension. During her 18-year history with Ailey, Johnson-Willingham’s roles have transcended the stage to also include leadership positions as choreographer, teacher and educational program Director.

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Playbill - Step From The Stage To The Studio

A professional dancer's body is a finely tuned instrument of movement and expression. And there are no more impeccably calibrated, eloquent "instruments" than those who make up the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.