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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Alvin Ailey School


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  • 8 months later...

My daughter attends the BFA program. This is her first year. She is trained in classical ballet and wanted to expand her horizons. She loves it. Ballet is required. So is modern,Horton, and west African. The other students have a variety of backgrounds. Some have been trained primarily in modern with little ballet experience. Body types are varied. Opportunity seems to abound.

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  • 1 year later...

Just wondering if anyone has had recent experience with Ailey Certificate or Independent Study year- round program. DS was accepted - I don't know how competitive it is to get in. There seems to be very little written about the Ailey Program in general.

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DD is in the BFA program as a freshman this year. Something I didn't realize is that BFA's and certificate students dance in the same technique classes based on level. Their programs are different though outside of technique. Ailey BFA students are also Fordham University students, and as dance majors have several classroom oriented dance requirements like Anatomy, Dance History etc. in addition to the Fordham core requirements.

I agree that it is not easy to gather information about Ailey programs on line and I would suggest an in person all day visit if they offer that, which I bet they do. Then DS could get an accurate perspective and ask his questions.

DD is a well trained and highly experienced young dancer who finds the training extremely effective and challenging, if that helps at all. The ballet in particular is very strong.

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  • 2 years later...

Does anyone have any current info on the junior division for ages 7-17? I looked at their schedule and noticed that most of the lower level ballet classes are only 1 hour each. There seems to be only one 1.5 hour class/week and the rest are 1 hour in any given lower level. It isn't until Level IV (of 7 levels) that all of the technique classes (4x/week) become 1.5 hours. Does it matter if the technique classes are shorter than recommended between the ages, say 7-12, as long as they have 1.5 hour classes in the teen years?

The school also seems to offer just as much (or more) modern/jazz as ballet. That said, I was wondering if this is a good place for beginner & intermediate (younger) dancers to build a solid foundation, or if it's better for teens to attend as a "finishing school" in order to join a contemporary ballet or modern company. The website says 75% of the company came from the school, so I wondered if those students were "raised" in Ailey or if they just attended for about a year or 2 before joining the co., which is common in many schools with a company attached.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Did anyone audition for the Junior division in June (especially the boys’ program)? The director mentioned that results would be out in mid-July but we haven’t heard anything yet. Curious if anyone else has heard. 

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  • 1 year later...

Due to the pandemic, Ailey cut the following programs from its Junior Division for the 2020-2021 school year: 

-First Steps (girls) and Bounding Boys creative movement programs (ages 3-6)

-Ailey Athletic Boys (ages 7-10)

-Pre-professional Levels I-III, and half of Level IV

The school is now limited to 50% of Level IV, Level V, and Level VI/VII.

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DanceMumNYC, does this mean that Level IV has half the schedule they had previously or they cut the number of students.  

Are they in person or on Zoom or hybrid currently? 

Sorry to hear of such a decrease in programming! 

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Level IV went from 4 sections to 2, so there is a decrease in the number of students.

The adult divisions (BFA & Certificate programs) are hybrid, according to the website, but my DD isn’t in the Junior Division so I’m not sure if they’re hybrid as well or fully virtual. 

I’m also sad to see this decrease in programming from a great school.

“Junior Division will be offering a schedule of classes for a limited number of students in Levels IV, V and VI/VII. Due to limited staffing resources and the necessity for modified use of conditioning and learning spaces at the Joan Weil Center for Dance, it has been determined that Junior Division will have the capacity to offer programming suitable for and limited to older students in Levels IV-VII for this academic year.”

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  • 6 months later...

My daughter is accepted into the junior summer intensive. It’s only 3 hours class per day for 2 weeks. Assuming this is the shortened program due to the pandemic, is it still worth going? She’s also accepted to Joffrey as well and is debating which to attend. Thanks for any input! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

We are not allowed to make side-by-side comparisons on this thread, but things to consider are: program length (how many weeks & how many classes per day), classes offered, class size, faculty, & then more personal matters (program dates, location, tuition etc. that work best for your family).

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