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Ailey Extension Celebrates Black History Month With The Launch of Ailey Legacy On-Demand Series and Themed Workshops

Posted February 2, 2022

In celebration of Black History Month, Ailey Extensi is launching Ailey Legacy On-Demand, a series of on-demand workshops taught by the stars of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and presenting a variety of  workshops and classes that highlight Black contributions to the world of dance. Each day in February students of all experience levels can explore street styles such as hip-hop and Afro’Dance, dive into Afro-Latin techniques from Cuba and Brazil, and immerse themselves in traditional West African dance with Ailey’s elite instructors either in-studio at the Joan Weill Center for Dance – NYC’s largest building dedicated to dance – or virtually from wherever they are located. 

As Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater embarks on a coast-to-coast national tour hitting nearly 20 US cities from January 28 to May 8, all are invited to join in the dance with Ailey Legacy On-Demand, an exclusive workshop series taught by Associate Artistic Director Matthew Rushing and Ailey Company members Samantha Figgins and Solomon Dumas. Each week students around the world can take a new masterclass focused on modern-contemporary techniques and Ailey-inspired movement. All three workshops in the Ailey Legacy series are open level, inviting students from beginner to advanced levels of experience to enjoy the class. New videos will premiere each Sunday, starting February 6 and be available for one week. Fans are also invited to learn more about founder Alvin Ailey by streaming AILEY, director Jamila Wignot’s resonant documentary about the legendary choreographer at pbs.org/aileyPBS Video app or Hulu.  The film traces the full contours of this brilliant and enigmatic man whose search for the truth in movement resulted in enduring choreography that centers on the Black American experience with inimitable grace and power.

Throughout the month dancers around the world are welcome to learn the fundamental steps of popular dances from Black communities around the world. First Hip-hop instructor, Ladies of Hip-hop ambassador, and South Bronx native TweetBoogie presents a virtual masterclass on Saturday, February 5 at 2pm ET. Throughout the 90-minute Ladies of Hip-Hop: Celebrating Black History Month Workshop she will introduce students to the culture through dance and music by encouraging everyone to express their unique style while performing fundamental hip-hop moves. The celebration continues Saturday, February 19 at 2pm ET when Angel Kaba leads a free virtual Afro’Dance Workshop, teaching the  cultural, social, and spirited new generation of urban street styles coming from the Congo, Ivory Coast, Angola and beyond.  Next revelers are encouraged to get ready for Brazil’s world famous carnival season when Rio de Janeiro-native Quenia Ribeiro guides students through the basics of samba and Afro-Brazilian dance in a Celebrating Brasilian Carnaval Workshop on Sunday, February 20 at 3pm ET.

The celebration of Black dance styles keeps going all month long with weekly classes available seven days a week. Dancers can groove to Hip-hop taught by New York City natives Robin Dunn on Mondays and Fridays at 6pm ET (online),  Jonathan Lee on Tuesdays at 7pm ET and Sundays at 2:30pm ET (in-studio), Yancy Greene  on Thursdays at 7pm ET (in-studio and online), or Miyabi Wright every Sunday at 2:30pm ET (in-studio). Students can also make this African-American dance style part of their regular workout routine by joining dance fitness instructor Matthew Johnson Harris for weekly Hip-Hop Cardio classes in-studio or online each Thursday at 6:30pm ET.

Students are welcome to explore more dances from the African diaspora by learning the fundamentals of traditional West African dance with Maguette Camara in-studio and online on Mondays and Thursdays at 6:30pm ET; or get hip to the latest African street dances in a virtual Afro’Dance  class with Angel Kaba each Friday at 6:30pm ET. Dancers can step into the studios for Afro-Cuban dance styles including Modern Afro-Cuban – a dynamic fusion of North American dance techniques (Graham, Limon, Taylor), ballet, and Afro-Cuban dances and rhythms – with Noibis Licea each Sunday at 1pm ET, or to explore different movements representing the Orishas – deities from the West African traditions brought to Cuba – in Afro-Cuban Folkloric with La Mora on Tuesdays at 6:45pm ET. On Sundays at 1:30pm ET African-Brazilian with Janete da Silva will energize both body and spirit with the soulful, spontaneous movements of Northern Brazil, where the country’s African influences are strongest.

Ailey Extension will also celebrate love and friendship this month with a NY Style Mambo Valentine’s Day workshop taught by Katherine Jimenez on Monday, February 14 at 7pm ET. All are invited to spend the evening in-studio or online with their sweetheart, friends, or themselves learning the basics of New York Style Mambo– a flirtatious dance technique that includes kicks, exaggerated hip movements, and sharp quick steps.

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 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, have their temperature taken upon arrival, and wear masks while indoors. Students are encouraged to visit alvinailey.org/extension/covidsafety for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 safety protocols.

With more than 40 weekly classes, special workshops, and on-demand options available 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 and virtual class options – which include hip-hop, ballet, Horton, West African, Zumba®, jazz, samba, yoga, contemporary, Pilates, Broadway Jazz and more – please visit alvinailey.org/extension

 

FEBRUARY WORKSHOPS AT AILEY EXTENSION

AILEY LEGACY ON-DEMAND SERIES

Ailey Extension is proud to welcome Ailey dancers and Associate Artistic Director Matthew rushing for an exclusive on-demand workshop series in celebration of Black History Month. Each week, join us for a new masterclass focused on modern-contemporary techniques and Ailey-inspired movement. All the workshops are open-level – students from beginner to advanced can enjoy the class and find something to learn. New videos released Sundays starting February 6, and available for one week.

LADIES OF HIP-HOP: CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH (Online)

Join hip-hop instructor, Ladies of Hip-Hop ambassador, and South Bronx native TweetBoogie for a masterclass in hip-hop in celebration of Black History Month. Tweetie will introduce you to hip-hop culture through dance and music, encouraging each individual’s unique style. Beginning with a basic warm-up to stretch and tone the body, this class will challenge every dancer with the dynamics of movement and combinations. As a part of Ladies of Hip-Hop, TweetBoogie’s goal is to bring together girls and women of all ages and abilities across the world to celebrate street dance culture through music and dance. Saturday February 5 at 2pm ET

NY STYLE MAMBO VALENTINE’S WORKSHOP (Online)

Celebrate love and friendship with dance at Ailey this Valentine’s Day! Spend the night with your sweetheart for the ideal post-dinner date night activity, invite your friends for the perfect addition to virtual Valentine’s happy hour, or fly solo for an ultimate celebration of self-love. Katherine will guide students through the basics of NY Style Mambo, a flirtatious dance technique that includes kicks and exaggerated hip movements combined with long, flowing movements and sharp quick steps. No partner or experience is required – meet new people in our online community where folks come together to enjoy dance. All levels are welcome. Monday, February 14 at 7pm ET

FREE AFRO’DANCE WORKSHOP (Online)

Join Angel for a special free online workshop in celebration of Black History Month. Afro’Dance is a mixture of the new generation of African influences and street dance. In the workshop, students will work on musicality heavily influenced by the rhythm and musical trends from the Congo, Ivory Coast, Angola, and beyond. Urban street styles are incorporated into the backdrop of this heavily African-based technique. The cultural, social, and free-spirited side of this class creates an environment where students learn and have fun. Saturday, February 19 at 2pm ET

CELEBRATING BRASILIAN CARNAVAL (In-Studio & Online)

Explore the different styles of dance and rhythms of Carnaval – from Rio de Janeiro to Salvador Bahia, Brasil – with Samba instructor Quenia Ribeiro. Dance through the basics of samba and African Brasilian dance and experience the roots of Brasil. This workshop will have you partying with your friends and our dance community to celebrate this special time of year. Saturday, February 20 at 3pm ET  

 

NEW WEEKLY CLASSES AT AILEY EXTENSION

HIP-HOP with JONATHAN LEE (In-Studio and Online)

This class is designed to introduce hip-hop culture through the element of dance. Beginning with a basic warm-up to stretch and tone the body, this class will challenge every dancer with the dynamics of movement and challenging combinations. In a non-competitive environment, this class encourages individualized style while staying true to the technique. Saturdays at 2:30pm ET

HIP-HOP with ROBIN DUNN (Online)

This class is designed to introduce hip-hop culture through the element of dance. Beginning with a basic warm-up to stretch and tone the body, this class will challenge every dancer with the dynamics of movement and challenging combinations. In a non-competitive environment, this class encourages individualized style while staying true to the technique. Mondays at 6:00pm ET

AFRO-CUBAN with LA MORA (In-Studio)

This class is intended to create a movement environment that explores the various forms of Afro-Cuban dance tradition. While practicing different movements representing the Orishas (deities from the West African traditions brought to Cuba), we will discuss the form’s history and its importance to each movement. Based on each dancer’s skill, knowledge, and experience the class allows participants to embrace an accessible path to understanding dance through quality of movement, and cultural context. Tuesdays at 6:45pm ET

JAZZ with JEFFREY BYNUM (In-Studio)

This class is a combination of both contemporary and traditional jazz styles. The instructor combines elements borrowed from all technical styles, still deeply rooted in the technique of traditional jazz dance. Thursdays at 6pm ET

ZUMBA® with DIEGO CHAUCA (In-Studio and Online)

High energy and motivating music allow participants to dance away their worries. Zumba is based on the principle that a workout should be “fun and easy to do’ allowing participants to achieve long-term health benefits. Zumba® is a fusion of Latin and international music – dance themes that create a dynamic, exciting, effective fitness system! The routines feature aerobic/fitness interval training with a combination of fast and slow rhythms that tone and sculpt the body. Wednesdays at 6:30pm ET

 

In-Studio classes and workshops from Ailey Extension take place at The Joann Weill Center for Dance (405 W 55th Street)

Virtual classes and workshops from Ailey Extension take place on Zoom


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