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 received her formal dance training at the Newark Ballet Academy under Fred Danieli and her Horton training under Joyce Trisler. She began her professional career with the Garden State Ballet company at age 13 and with the Joyce Trisler Dance Company at age 14. She also performed with the Sophie Maslow Dance Company as well as her own company. Ms. Forsythe began teaching the Horton technique in the 1960’s and has devoted more than twenty years to documenting the Lester Horton technique. She is an internationally-recognized master teacher of the technique and has been invited to teach in more than a dozen countries. In preservation of the Horton technique, she co-authored The Dance Technique of Lester Horton, and was artistic director of three Horton videos documenting this important modern dance technique. She is the former Director of the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. Program at The Ailey School where she has taught since 1973 and has been the Chair of the Horton department since 1979. She conducts an annual Horton Pedagogy Workshop at The Ailey School each summer.