Photo credit: Kyle Froman
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.
Dance lovers can step into Ailey’s beautiful studios to learn the basics in Absolute Beginner Ballet with Dawn Hillen, move to the rhythm of West African drums with Maguette Camara, practice Limon technique from Becky Brown, work on their Beginner Ballet skills with Anna Lederfiend, immerse themselves in Afro-Cuban with Noibis Licea, explore spontaneous and soulful movements during African-Brazilian with Janete da Silva, and refine their technique in Beginner Ballet with Yuka Kawazu. Fitness enthusiasts can sweat it out to Latin and international rhythms during Zumba® Fitness with Richard Martinez, stretch and tone their bodies during Pilates Evolution with with Sarita Allen and move to high energy music in Zumba® with Jose Ozuna. Each of these weekend classes have been online only for the past year and are now hybrid – welcoming 18 students to join the instructors in-studio and made available via Zoom for those who would like to join virtually. Weekday in-person classes will be added to the schedule in October.
Three new in-studio-only dance classes and an additional virtual-only fitness class gives students even more opportunities to keep moving with Ailey each week. Dancers can learn the flirtatious body movements, steps, and footwork that make up Mambo with Katherine Jimenez each Saturday at 3pm ET. Miyabi Wright from the Ladies of Hip-Hop will introduce students to the culture with dynamic movements and challenging combinations during Beginner Hip-Hop each Sunday at 2:30pm ET. Ailey fans can learn the fundamentals of Horton – the foundation of choreography seen in many of Alvin Ailey’s works – each Sunday at 3pm ET with Fernando Carrillo. Fitness enthusiasts will enjoy an online Yoga-Lattes class combining yoga and Pilates for a mindful workout that strengthens and aligns the body led by former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater company member Olivia Bowman-Jackson on Sundays at 11am ET.
Ailey Extension’s first-ever hybrid workshop invites students to celebrate Latin Heritage Month by learning Brazil’s national dance and music from celebrated samba dancer and choreographer Quenia Ribeiro on Saturday, September 25 at 3pm ET. Dancers can join the Samba workshop in-studio or online and dive into its cultural essence and roots as Quenia guides them through different styles of samba dance and rhythms from Rio de Janeiro to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.
Teens and tweens will also get to join their peers in-person once again during the Kids & Teens Fall Session which runs from Sunday September 19 – Sunday December 12. Students ages 12-14 and 15-17 can explore ballet, contemporary and hip-hop styles in a judgment-free zone with a small group of their peers. Hip-hop and ballet classes for small children ages 5-7 and 8-11 will remain online allowing Ailey’s youngest dancers to join in the fun from wherever they are. Students are encouraged to enroll in the full 12-week session or welcome to drop-in to one of the weekly classes.
As Ailey opens its doors to the public, the health and well-being of all dancers, students, instructors, and staff remains a top priority. An Ailey Forward re-entry plan to safely welcome dancers, instructors, and staff back to The Joan Weill Center for Dance has been developed and continues to be updated with consideration of all government and regulatory guidelines as well as information from health professionals. All visitors to the building – including students, instructors, and staff – will be required to submit proof of full vaccination as well as a negative PCR test, and have their temperature taken upon arrival. Students are encouraged to visit alvinailey.org/extension/reopening for the most updated information regarding COVID safety protocols.
With nearly 40 weekly classes and special workshops each month Ailey Extension allows students all over the world to explore different dance styles seven days a week. For more details about Ailey Extension’s variety of in-person, virtual, and hybrid class options – which include hip-hop, ballet, Horton, West African, Zumba®, samba, contemporary, Pilates, Broadway Jazz and more – please visit alvinailey.org/extension.