Directors

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Dance Teacher - What My Teacher Taught Me: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Solomon Dumas On Lisa Johnson-Willingham

Dance Teacher - What My Teacher Taught Me: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Solomon Dumas On Lisa Johnson-Willingham

When I was in high school, my friends at The Chicago Academy for the Arts told me about Lisa Johnson-Willingham, an impressive former Ailey dancer who was teaching Horton at Joel Hall Dancers & Center on Thursday nights. I decided I ought to give her class a try. The first time I went, I didn’t even pay for class. In fact, I don’t think I ever paid for her class. She was tough as nails, but she was always generous. The room was packed with people from all over the city. From modern dancers to professional ballet dancers to young students—everyone wanted to learn from her. Her classroom got so hot from sweaty bodies that the windows completely fogged up and contrasted the cold night outside.

New York Magazine

New York Magazine "The Cut" - In Her Shoes: The Dance Director Who Loves A Bright Suit

As the director of Alvin Ailey’s public dance and fitness center, Ailey Extension, Lisa Johnson-Willingham is literally on the move, constantly. On any given day she could be teaching a master class to students, taking a dance class herself, meeting with clients about potential partnerships, or all of the above. Add to that two teenage children, and Johnson- Willingham has a packed schedule that takes her from parent-teacher conferences to red-carpet appearances. To ensure she’s always appropriately dressed, her desk doesn’t just house extra shoes, but also workout clothes and the occasional camisole for after-hours events.

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.

AM New York - Dance For The People At The Ailey Extension

AM New York - Dance For The People At The Ailey Extension

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.

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Showing 110 of 30 Items