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.
The Pre-Professional Program offers a diverse curriculum-based program for students ages 7 to 17 taught by The Ailey School’s experienced and distinguished faculty. Designed to develop well-rounded young dancers, the Program offers a graded curriculum of classical ballet, enriched by several other dance techniques including modern, West African, Spanish, tap and character. Performance opportunities are offered in The Ailey Citigroup Theater and a larger NYC Theater in May.