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 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.