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Ailey Extension Kicks Off 2022 with Celebration of Founder Alvin Ailey, New Weekly Classes, and Free Dance Cardio Workshop

Ailey Extension Kicks Off 2022 with Celebration of Founder Alvin Ailey, New Weekly Classes, and Free Dance Cardio Workshop

Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison. Photo by Andrew Eccle

Ailey Extension is helping people all around the world kickstart their 2022 resolutions with new workshops and weekly classes to help make movement part of a fun and healthy lifestyle. Throughout January, students of all ages and experience levels will have the chance to explore new dance styles and get started on their fitness goals by getting moving with New York City’s elite instructors.  The updated weekly schedule offers dancers ages 16 and up plenty of new opportunities to join in the dance either in-studio at the Joan Weill Center for Dance – NYC’s largest building dedicated to dance – or virtually from wherever they are located.  Kids ages 5-11 and teens/tweens ages 12-17 can also get moving with Ailey during the Kids & Teens Sunday Dance Series

First, Ailey fans around the world are encouraged to celebrate the birthday of founderAiley on Saturday, January 8 at 2pm ET with Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison and Associate Artistic Director Matthew Rushingduring an online Celebrating Alvin Ailey Workshop. This virtual experience comes just days after what would have been Mr. Ailey’s 91st birthday and offers dancers an opportunity to explore his genius as a choreographer while learning directly from one of the most influential dance figures of the late 20th century.   Fans can also learn more about Alvin Ailey when Ailey, director Jamila Wignot’s resonant documentary about the legendary choreographer will open the 36th season of PBS American Masters with a nationwide broadcast premiere on Tuesday, January 11 at 9pm (check local listingspbs.org/ailey and the PBS Video app). 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.  

Hip-Hop Cardio with Matthew Johnson Harris

All are welcome to jump start their fitness-focused resolutions during a FREE Online Hip-Hop Cardio Workshop with Matthew Johnson-Harris on Sunday January 23 at 2pm ET. This dance cardio experience will have students sweating and toning as they switch between dynamic and slow controlled movements infused with hip-hop swag. Students can join the weekly Hip-Hop Cardio class in-studio or online each Thursday at 6:30pm ET to make this class a part of their regular workout routine. 

Masala Bhangra class at Ailey Extension. Photo by Kyle Froman.

Masala Bhangra with Sarina Jain makes its return to the studios this month, helping dancers meet their fitness goals by combining traditional Bhangra steps with Bollywood moves for a high energy total body workout each Saturday at 10:30am ET. Dance cardio lovers will also enjoy moving to Latin and international rhythms in-studio or online during Zumba® with Richard Martinez on Saturdays at 11:30am ET and Mondays at 6:30pm ET; in-studio or online with Jose Ozuna on Sundays at 9:30am ET; or online with Karen Arceneaux on Mondays at 12:30pm ET. Anyone looking for an effective but low-impact workout can stretch and tone the body during online Restorative Stretches with Sarita Allen on Mondays at 10am ET,  work on functional flexibility during online Vinyasa Yogawith Pilin Anice on Tuesdays at 9am ET, focus on strength and flexibility during Pilates Evolution with Sarita Allen in-studio or online Saturdays at 9:30am ET, or combine these techniques during online Yoga-Lattes with Olivia Bowman-Jackson on Sundays at 11am ET. 

In addition to the variety of fitness-focused classes, Ailey Extension’s updated weekly schedule of adult classes includes even more chances for students to explore different dance techniques. Students ages 16+ can explore Contemporary in-studio with Christopher Jackson on Tuesdays at 6:45pm ET, practice Ailey’s signature Hortontechnique online with Karen Arceneaux on Wednesdays at 7:30pm ET, learn Hip-hop with Yancy Greene in-studio or online on Thursdays at 7pm ET, discover the latest African street dances during Afro’Dance with Angel Kaba in-studio or online each Friday at 6:30pm ET, and work on their ballet skills in  Absolute Beginner Balletwith Ronald Alexander in-studio on Fridays at 6pm ET or Advanced Beginner Ballet with Noriko Hara in-studio on Saturdays at 3pm ET.

Teens and tweens will also get to dance with their peers during the Kids & Teens Sunday Dance Series Winter/Spring Session which runs from January 9 – May 1. Students ages 12-17 can explore balletcontemporaryand 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 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 updated information regarding COVID-19 safety protocols. 

With more than 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, yoga, contemporary, Pilates, Broadway Jazz and more – please visit alvinailey.org/extension

JANUARY VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS FOR ADULTS  

CELEBRATING ALVIN AILEY (Online)

Join Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison and Associate Artistic Director Matthew Rushing as we celebrate the birthday of our founder, Mr. Alvin Ailey. The workshop offers dancers an opportunity to explore Mr. Ailey’s genius as a choreographer while learning directly from one of the most influential dance figures of the late 20th century, Judith Jamison, and acclaimed Ailey icon Matthew Rushing. Saturday, January 8 a 2pm ET

FREE HIP-HOP CARDIO WORKSHOP with MATTHEW JOHNSON HARRIS (Online)

Get ready for a dance cardio experience that will leave you sweating, energized, and feeling better than when you walked in. This workshop is sure to get your heart rate up and tone the body by switching from dynamic to slow controlled movements all inused with hip-hop swag. So get ready to pop, lock, and tone the body with a workshop that will make you leave with a smile on your face and make you forget that you’re even working out. Sunday, January 23 at 2pm ET.

NEW WEEKLY CLASSES FOR ADULTS 

ABSOLUTE BEGINNER BALLET with RONALD ALEXANDER (In-Studio)

This class is designed for students to continue their developing knowledge of ballet terminology with slow and thorough exercises to ensure a better understanding of proper body placement and positioning. Most of the barre exercises will be done at the barre. It is recommended to wear ballet shoes or socks along with clothing like a leotard or tank top that allows the instructor to view body alignment. Students can use a countertop or furniture like a chair in replacement of a barre. Tuesdays at 6pm ET

CONTEMPORARY with CHRISTOPHER JACKSON (In-Studio)

A fusion of modern, ballet and jazz, this unique style explores a wide range of expressive movements and syncopated rhythms. Class is designed to work on finding freedom in the use of movement while developing your technique and building a strong foundation. Each class involves learning original choreography while focusing on theatrical elements and mastering musicality. Tuesdays at 6:45pm ET

ADVANCED BEGINNER HORTON with KAREN ARCENEAUX (Online)

This class will teach students the fundamentals of the Horton technique, the foundation of choreography performed by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The class will consist of studies to stretch and strengthen different areas of the body. Many of the beginning level studies which are taught will include flat backs, primitive squat, lateral stretches, release swings, leg swings, deep lunges, and T positions. Simple combinations are taught to introduce musicality and dynamics to the beginning dancer’s vocabulary. Wednesdays at 7:30pm ET

HIP-HOP with YANCY GREENE (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. Thursdays at 7:00pm ET

AFRO’DANCE with ANGEL KABA (In-Studio)

Afro’Dance class is a mixture of the new generation of African influences and street dance. In the class, dancers 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 dance, learn, have fun, and feel free. Fridays at 6:30pm ET

MASALA BHANGRA with SARINA JAIN (In-Studio)

Derived from two Indian words, “Masala”, which means spicy in Hindi, and “Bhangra”, which is a traditional folk dance from the northern state of Punjab, India, this fitness program modernizes the high-energy folk dance by blending traditional Bhangra dance steps with the exhilaration of Bolllywood (Hindi film) moves. It’s easy to follow and can be modified to the comfort level of the student, making it accessible to all fitness levels. Saturdays at 10:30am ET

ADVANCED BEGINNER BALLET with NORIKO HARA (In-Studio and Online)

This class is designed for students to continue their developing knowledge of ballet terminology with slow and thorough exercises to ensure a better understanding of proper body placement and positioning. Most of the barre exercises will be done at the barre. It is recommended to wear ballet shoes or socks along with clothing like a leotard or tank top that allows the instructor to view body alignment. Students can use a countertop or furniture like a chair in replacement of a barre. Saturdays at 3pm ET

IN-STUDIO & ONLINE CLASSES FOR KIDS & TEENS 

KIDS & TEENS 2022 WINTER/SPRING SESSION 

Kids & Teens Online is open to children of all experience levels. Each class takes into consideration the abilities of the age group to create an environment that fosters learning skills and boosts confidence while being taught by the city’s top instructors.  Winter/Spring Session runs from January 9– May 1 (no classes April 17).

In-Studio Classes (Ages 12+)

Yuka Kawazu will help teens continue their knowledge of ballet terminology with slow and thorough exercises to ensure a beter understanding of body alignment and vocabulary. It is recommended that students wear ballet shoes or socks along with clothing like a leotard or tank top that allows the instructor to view placement. 

Jessica Amber Pinkett will help students find freedom in the use of movement while developing technique and building a strong foundation. A fusion of modern, ballet, and jazz’ this unique style explores a wide range of expressive movements and syncopated rhythms. Each class involves learning original choreography while focusing on theatrical elements and mastering musicality. 

Miyabi Wright will build on your kids’ understanding of the fundamentals of hip-hop, coordination, and musicality while moving through basic body isolations, precision, and performance quality.  

Jessica Amber Pinkett will help students find freedom in the use of movement while developing technique and building a strong foundation. A fusion of modern, ballet, and jazz’ this unique style explores a wide range of expressive movements and syncopated rhythms. Each class involves learning original choreography while focusing on theatrical elements and mastering musicality. 

Miyabi Wright will build on your kids’ understanding of the fundamentals of hip-hop, coordination, and musicality while moving through basic body isolations, precision, and performance quality.  

Online Classes (Ages 5-17)

Jessica Amber Pinkett will introduce students to the ballet vocabulary while progressing at the barre, developing coordination through combinations.  

Erin Finley will lead your kids through the fundamentals of hip-hop, developing coordination and musicality while building on basic body isolations, precision, and performance quality.

Yuka Kawazu will further students’ ballet vocabulary while progressing at the barre, developing coordination through combinations.

Erin Finley will lead kids through the fundamentals of hip-hop, developing coordination and musicality while building on basic body isolations, precision, and performance quality.

Yuka Kawazu will help teens continue their knowledge of ballet terminology with slow and thorough exercises to ensure a beter understanding of body alignment and vocabulary. It is recommended that students wear ballet shoes or socks along with clothing like a leotard or tank top that allows the instructor to view placement. 

Jessica Amber Pinkett will help students find freedom in the use of movement while developing technique and building a strong foundation. A fusion of modern, ballet, and jazz’ this unique style explores a wide range of expressive movements and syncopated rhythms. Each class involves learning original choreography while focusing on theatrical elements and mastering musicality.

Miyabi Wright will build on your kids’ understanding of the fundamentals of hip-hop, coordination, and musicality while moving through basic body isolations, precision, and performance quality.  

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 

About Ailey Extension  

Since its inception in 2005, Ailey Extension has fulfilled Mr. Ailey’s life-long commitment of bringing dance to everyone by offering “real classes for real people.” Ailey Extension offers over 25 different dance and fitness techniques such as Horton, Ballet, Masala Bhangra, West African, Samba, Jazz, Zumba, House and Hip-Hop. Over 135,000 people have taken classes at Ailey’s home, New York’s largest building dedicated to dance, where dancers of all levels and walks of life can learn and be inspired – body, mind, and spirit! For additional press materials, including photos, videos, and class descriptions, visit pressroom.alvinailey.org

Dance

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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