Today, the Ailey organization announced that Tracy Inman and Melanie Person have been named Co-Directors of The Ailey School. Since the passing of Denise Jefferson, the beloved long-time Director of The Ailey School, Inman and Person have served as Acting Co-Directors.
Tracy Inman, Co-Director of The Ailey School
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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.
On Thursday, June 13, the centerpiece of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Lincoln Center engagement will be The Ailey Spirit gala, which launches the 50th anniversary celebration of The Ailey School. The evening’s honorary chair isaward-winningactressLorraine Toussaint, star in NBC’s “The Village,” Netflix’s “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power,” AMC’s “Into the Badlands,” and the recently released supernatural thriller “Fast Color” and also the proud parent of a student at The Ailey School.
Pm a summer afternoon at The Ailey School's studios, a group of students go through a sequence of Horton exercises, radiating concentration and strength as they told to one side, arms outstretched and leg parallel to the ground. Later, in a studio down the hall, a theater dance class rehearses a lively medley of Broadway show tunes. With giant smiles and bouncy energy, students run through steps to "The Nicest Kids in Town" from Hairspray. "You gotta really scream!" teacher Judine Somerville calls out as they mime their excitement.