Professional Division

The Professional Division offers post-secondary, full-time programs that take a conservatory approach to dance training for ages 17-25. 

Featured News Releases

The Ailey Spirit Gala Benefit At Lincoln Center On Thursday, June 13th Celebrates 50th Anniversary Of The Ailey School With One-Night-Only Performance & Party

(NEW YORK, NY) May 16, 2019 – The centerpiece of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Lincoln Center engagement is The Ailey Spirit Gala on Thursday, June 13th. The event launches the 50th Anniversary celebration of The Ailey School, which has served as a springboard for many notable artists, including more than 70% of the dancers in the Company. The evening’s Honorary Chair is award-winning actress Lorraine Toussaint, who currently stars in NBC’s “The Village,” Netflix’s “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power,” AMC’s “Into the Badlands,” and the recently released supernatural thriller “Fast Color.” She will also star in the upcoming films “Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark” and “The Glorias,” where she will portray the iconic feminist and civil right activist Flo Kennedy opposite Julianne Moore. Toussaint is the parent of a student at The Ailey School.

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Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Opens Its New Elaine Wynn & Family Education Wing At The Joan Weill Center For Dance

NEW YORK, NY, October 19, 2017 — At a festive ribbon-cutting, celebrated on the evening of October 18, leaders of the Ailey organization joined with dancers, students, donors, and friends from New York City’s dance community to open The Elaine Wynn & Family Education Wing, a 10,000-square-foot expansion of Ailey’s permanent home, The Joan Weill Center for Dance.

Featured Press Coverage

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NBC 4 New York - NYC"s Alvin Ailey Dance School Celebrates 50 Years

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City is celebrating 50 years of training students to become professional dancers. Graduates of the renowned dance company have gone on to become successful Broadway performers and entertain people all over the world.

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Pix 11 - Renowned Ailey School Still A Force In Dance World Half A Century Later

For 50 years, the Ailey School on the west side of Manhattan has provided world class training to dancers of all ages and backgrounds from New York City and around the globe. From Madonna to Jasmine Guy, alumni have gone on to be trailblazers in the industry. Launched by Alvin Ailey in 1969, the school started out with just 125 students and aimed to provide access to arts and dance to under-resourced communities. Ailey’s message of inclusivity is one that resonates to this day with the school’s co-directors, Tracy Inman and Melanie Person.

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Playbill - Fifty Years Of Developing Dreams At The Ailey School

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.