Connections: Lester Horton and Alvin Ailey

Course Dates: July 14 to July 27, 2014
Application Deadline: May 16, 2014

  • Immerse yourself in the athletically emotive Lester Horton Technique as expressed through the artistry and spirit of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater repertoire.
  • Learn from renowned dance artists and former principal dancers of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey 2, Joyce Trisler Dance Company, and Lester Horton Dance Theater.
  • Learn iconic Ailey repertory.
  • Experience classical modern dance, personal and historical lectures, repertory, and performance elements through lecture, repertory, and technique classes.
  • This course will culminate in a public presentation of Ailey Repertory by the participants.

Undergraduate: DANCE 421, 3 units
Graduate: DANCE 621, 3 units


This course is designed for intermediate to advanced undergraduate and graduate students, and other dancers interested in studying the Lester Horton modern dance technique and Ailey repertory.

1)      Submit a brief resume, headshot, bio, and a 200‐word personal statement describing your interest in this workshop.
2)      Send the materials listed in step one with your completed Registration Form to the Summer Arts office by May 16, 2014.

Professor Ray Tadio


Sylvia Waters –
Sylvia Waters was personally selected by Alvin Ailey in 1974 to be Artistic Director of Ailey II and led the company for 38 years. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Sylvia earned a BS in Dance prior to moving to Paris, where she appeared regularly on television. She has also performed in Brussels and at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City. In 1968, Sylvia joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and toured with the company until assuming leadership of Ailey II. In 1997, she received an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York at Oswego, and she has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts. She is a recipient of the Legacy Award as part of the 20th Annual IABD Festival, a Syracuse University Women of Distinction Award, a Dance Magazine Award, and a Bessie Award. She currently leads The Ailey Legacy Residency, a lecture, technique and repertory program for college-level students that looks definitively into the history and creative heritage of Alvin Ailey.

Ana Marie Forsythe
Ana Marie Forsythe received her formal dance training at the Newark Ballet Academy under Fred Danieli and her Horton training under Joyce Trisler. She began her professional career with the Garden State Ballet company at age 13 and with the Joyce Trisler Dance Company at age 14. She also performed with the Sophie Maslow Dance Company as well as her own company. Ana began teaching the Horton technique in the 1960s and has devoted more than twenty years to documenting the Lester Horton technique. She is an internationally recognized master teacher of the technique and has been invited to teach in more than a dozen countries. In preservation of the Horton technique, she co-authored The Dance Technique of Lester Horton, and was artistic director of three Horton videos documenting this important modern dance technique. She is the former Director of the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program at The Ailey School where she has taught since 1973, and has been the Chair of the Horton department since 1979. She conducts an annual Horton Pedagogy Workshop at The Ailey School each summer.

Elizabeth Roxas
Elizabeth Roxas was born in Manila and became the youngest member of Ballet Philippines. After receiving scholarships to Joffrey, Graham, and The Ailey School, she danced with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Ohad Naharin, and Joyce Trisler Dance Company before joining Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater where she was a principal dancer from 1984-1998. The New York Times described her as “a cool, still, lyrical center of the Ailey storm.” While dancing, Elizabeth worked with many of the most significant choreographers including Alvin Ailey, Katherine Dunham, Jerome Robbins, Talley Beatty, Lar Lubavitch, John Butler, Ulysses Dove, and Judith Jamison. She performed in the Emmy Award-winning PBS specials Two by Dove and Judith Jamison’s A Hymn for Alvin Ailey among others, was featured in a 1997 Dance Magazine cover article, and was named by Avenue Magazine as one of the 500 most influential Asian-Americans. After leaving Ailey as a dancer, Elizabeth performed on Broadway in The King and I as Eliza, and made several guest appearances in the United States and abroad before she turned to teaching full-time. She has worked with Anna Deveare Smith at the Graduate School of New York University, and is currently Movement Coach for Ms. Smith’s new show Let Me Down Easy. She has choreographed in regional theatres and off Broadway, and restages ballets of Alvin Ailey works. Elizabeth teaches the Horton Technique at The Ailey School and the Actors Studio Class.

Carmen de Lavallade
Carmen de Lavallade has had an unparalleled career in dance, theatre, film, and television, beginning in her hometown of Los Angeles performing with the Lester Horton Dance Theater. While in Los Angeles, Lena Horne introduced the then 17-year-old Carmen to the filmmakers at 20th Century Fox where she appeared in four movies, including Carmen Jones. During the filming, she met Herbert Ross, who asked her to appear as a dancer in the Broadway production of House of Flowers. She has had ballets created for her by Lester Horton, Geoffrey Holder, Alvin Ailey, Glen Tetley, John Butler, and Agnes de Mille. She was principal dancer with the Metropolitan Opera and a guest artist with the American Ballet Theatre. She taught movement for actors at Yale and became a member of the Yale Repertory Company and the American Repertory Theater at Harvard. She has choreographed for the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Philadanco, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and the productions of Porgy and Bess and Die Meistersinger at the Metropolitan Opera. Her most recent works include 651 ARTS’ FLY: Five First Ladies of Dance, Post Black by Regina Taylor, Step-Mother by Ruby Dee, and the Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire (2012). She is currently working on a dance/theatre work about her life entitled As I Remember It, which is slated to premiere in June 2014. Lauded by numerous institutions, Carmen received the Dance Magazine Award in 1964, and received an honorary doctorate of Fine Arts from The Juilliard School. She also received the Duke Ellington Fellowship Award and the Dance USA Award in 2010. From Broadway to the Metropolitan Opera, Carmen has performed on the world’s greatest stages and with such legendary artists as Josephine Baker and Duke Ellington. In her eighties and still performing with a supreme level of grace and elegance, Carmen De Lavallade is an icon in the truest sense of the word – inspiring generations of artists and audiences.