The story took flight with a chance encounter at the 60th Street post office in Manhattan. It was the mid-'90s and Denise Jefferson, then head of The Ailey School, and Edward Bristow, then dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center, would often bump into each other in the neighborhood. At that point, both schools were already looking for ways to expand their relationship, and Jefferson had previously floated the idea of starting a BFA program. While standing in line to buy stamps, Bristow says, their friendly chitchat set in motion an idea to form a planning committee tasked with creating a BFA program that would change the lives of scores of young dancers.
Ana Marie Forsythe
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Dance Teacher - The Ailey School’s Ana Marie Forsythe Is on a Mission to Share Horton Technique With the Next Generation
International master teacher Ana Marie Forsythe has devoted nearly 50 years of her life documenting the Lester Horton technique in an effort to preserve it. “Dance has given me gifts that I never realized were possible when I took my first plié,” she says. “I enjoy sharing my breadth of knowledge of the Lester Horton technique because it has been a real gift to me, and I believe we should share our gifts with others.”
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.