Sarita Allen

Sarita Allen has had the career most performers only dream about. The classically-trained Seattle native auditioned for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center (now known as The Ailey School) on a lark and received a scholarship. Handpicked by Alvin Ailey, she became an original member of the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble (now called Ailey II), and a year later joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In her first season, Mr. Ailey created lead roles for Allen in two Ellington premieres: The Mooche (opposite Ailey veterans Judith Jamison, Estelle Spurlock, and Sara Yarborough) and Night Creature. These ballets set the tone for her Ailey tenure with leading roles, and outstanding performances including: galas at The Paris Opera, the Acropolis, the Great Pyramids of Giza, The Kennedy Center, and at the White House for two Presidents.

Allen was an original member of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and is currently an Artistic Advisor to that company. Her career extends beyond the concert dance genre. She performed in the motion pictures Angel Heart and The Cotton Club, and The Jacksons’ music video of their song “Torture." She also choreographed Elton John's Aida for Big League Production tours.

An Ailey Extension faculty member since its inception, Allen began teaching the Revelations master class in 2010 and developed her “labor of love”- the Ailey Barre technique. A teacher, dance legend, choreographer, and Ailey ambassador, she shares the Ailey experience nationwide. As a consultant and member of the HBO Wellness Team, Allen designed and implemented the HBO Pilates program. Allen’s wellness/fitness work has been acknowledged in fitness publications including Self Magazine, Fit Life, and Very Well, the number one online fitness reference.

Featured News Releases

Ailey Extension Kicks Off 2022 With Celebration Of Founder Alvin Ailey, New Weekly Classes, And Free Dance Cardio Workshop

(NEW YORK) January 6, 2022 – Ailey Extension is helping people all around the world kickstart their 2022 resolutions with new workshops and weekly classes to help make movement part of a fun and healthy lifestyle. Throughout January, students of all ages and experience levels will have the chance to explore new dance styles and get started on their fitness goals by getting moving with New York City’s elite instructors. The updated weekly schedule offers dancers ages 16 and up plenty of new opportunities to join in the dance either in-studio at the Joan Weill Center for Dance – NYC’s largest building dedicated to dance – or virtually from wherever they are located. Kids ages 5-11 and teens/tweens ages 12-17 can also get moving with Ailey during the Kids & Teens Sunday Dance Series.

Ailey Extension Celebrates National Dance Day On September 18 By Reopening Studios For Public To Enjoy Weekend Hybrid And In-Studio Only Classes For First Time Since March 2020

New York, NY – September 2, 2021 – Ailey Extension will celebrate National Dance Day by welcoming New York City area dancers back to the studios to experience the vibrant energy of its “real classes for real people” in person starting Saturday, September 18. For the first time since March 2020, New Yorkers of all experience levels and backgrounds are invited to join in the dance at the Joan Weill Center for Dance – NYC’s largest building dedicated to dance – with their favorite instructors, inspiring guest artists and esteemed musicians. An updated schedule of classes allows fully vaccinated New Yorkers ages 12+ to gather in small groups on Saturdays and Sundays. Virtual class options remain available seven days a week for those 16+ who cannot join in-studio and for children ages 5-11 under the Kids & Teens Sunday Dance Series.

Fit And Fabulous Fun During National Physical Fitness Month With Virtual Classes and Special Workshops At Ailey Extension

New York, NY – May 5, 2021 – Ailey Extension has kicked off National Physical Fitness Month with an invitation for people around the world to have fun being fit and fabulous during in an array of virtual classes and special workshops. During the month of May, students are encouraged to keep dancing and experience the physical and mental benefits of dance, including improved strength and flexibility, coordination, endurance, and decreased stress. All are welcome to celebrate by moving and grooving with popular instructors during a Hip-Hop Workshop on Thursday, May 6, a special Mother’s Day weekend BellydanceBURN workshop on Saturday, May 8; a Kids & Teens West African Workshop on Saturday, May 15, and a NY Style Mambo Workshop on Saturday, May 22. Two new weekly Beginner Horton and Morning Jumpstart classes give dancers even more opportunities to get their fitness fix on a consistent basis.

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