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.
An innovative partnership between The Ailey School and Fordham University, the Ailey/Fordham Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree combines the finest in dance and liberal arts education in a 4-year program. Students complete a diverse curriculum while attending both institutions full time.
Located in the cultural heart of New York City, the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program offers the best of both worlds: professional dance training at the official school of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and an exceptional liberal arts education rooted in the Jesuit tradition of intellectual development and personal attention.
The program offers a comprehensive study of several dance techniques, preparing graduates for a variety of jobs in today's diverse dance profession. Our focus on dance technique and performance offers students the opportunity to hone their professional skills and prepare for life as a professional dancer.