A dancer discovers the satisfactions of learning the famously demanding technique. Ana Marie Forsythe's eyes twinkle, and a smile plays at the corners of her mouth as she welcomes the 40-plus teachers who are enrolled for her two-week-long Horton teacher-training workshop at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater studios in New York City - plus me, a dancer and writer, taking part for the day.
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.