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.
Bad Habits, they're enough to drive any dance teacher batty. Seeping into a student's technique, their routine, almost involuntary nature makes them extremely difficult to break. Dance Teacher asked Finis Jhung, Irene Dowd, Sheila Barker, and Pamela Pietro for their advice on conquering common bad habits they see in class.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Opening Night Gala: December 4, 2013
All nonprofit organizations have a difficult time in these profit-ravenous times, but the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has a hidden weapon: its thriving Ailey Extension program, which offers classes in more than 30 different dance techniques to the public in about 80 classes a week.
About halfway through a beginner capoeira class at the Ailey Extension, studetns pair off to put the movements they've been developing into practive. The instructor, Tiba Vieria, lightly pounds a tall, wooden drum to keep the time.
Chicago may be called the Second City, but it was first in the hearts of dancer and Alvin Ailey Extension director Lisa Johnson-Willingham and her family.
CBS News met on senior citizen, Finis Jhung, who still has a spring in his step. Five days a week, you can find Jhung doing what he does best: teaching dance at Alvin Ailey in New York City.
Instead of spending hours staring at Cat Deeley and studying the lithe contestants on 'So You Think You Can Dance', perfect your own twists and turns during a class at the Ailey Extension, the recreational arm of the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Meet Lisa Johnson-Willingham, former Ailey dancer and current Director of the Ailey Extension at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Having been a member of the dance theater for six years, Lisa has since moved on to choreograph some of the best pieces for dance companies such as Joel Hall Dance company, Cerqua/Rivera Art Experience, One World Dance Theater and many more.
When I was offered a complimentary class at the Ailey Extension a few weeks ago, I decided to sign up for something I had never tried before: capoeira. I'd been intrigued by this Afro-Brazilian martial-art-meets-dance-form since taking classes in college.