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Denise Jefferson, director Alvin Ailey School NYC

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After a lengthly illness, Ms. Jefferson passed away yesterday. May her family find peace knowing how much she contributed to others personally and in dance. Rest peacefully Denise. You have been a wonderful shining light for many. An obituary will follow.

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Thank you for posting this vrsfantic. My DD heard via a brief facebook post, but could not find confirming information. DD was heartnroken to hear as she had a wonderful summer at Ailey and commented on Ms. Jefferson's kind direction.

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Rest in peace Ms. Jefferson! You have touched many through your leadership. A definite shining light!

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Thank you for posting this, vrs. She was indeed, as Momof3 said, a shining light.

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My one summer intensive experience (I didn't know they even existed until my senior year of high school) was at Ailey; I believe (though I could be totally wrong) that she was at the New Orleans audition - in any case, that audition was one of the most validating experiences of my dance life. I had just been exposed to modern dance the previous two years in high school (it was a performing arts school) and got so much flack for being a "bunhead" - the release and off-center aspects of modern were difficult for me to get used to. Most of my high school dance company had come to the audition and I did not expect to do well, being such a "bunhead" and knowing that Ailey was not a ballet company. Of my group of dance buddies, only myself and another hardcore ballet-trained friend were accepted to the program. The students who were not accepted were brought into the studio for a lecture on how they all needed to work on their technique. It was great to feel that my ballet training - and that ballet training in general - was valued at the Ailey school.

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