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Local Dancers Train With Alvin Ailey Dance Company At The Arsht

Lisann Ramos

Once a year the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater comes to town to perform at the Arsht Center. Wednesday night the rehearsal director of the company taught a free master class for any dancers interested. The only requirements were that dancers had to be at intermediate level and 16 or older.

Matthew Rushing dances and choreographs around the world. While traveling with Alvin Ailey, he also takes part in outreach programs such as this one.

"I feel like it’s one of the best parts of touring because not only do we go into a city and we do performances but it’s part of an exchange so we go into a city and maybe do lecture or demonstration as well as master classes," said Rushing.

Johnny Wright, 19, has worked with Alvin Ailey before. He was part of the first Ailey Camp in 2009.

"Programs like this should always continue. It brings dancers back together. It makes them feel like they are able to do it," says Wright. "You look up to these big companies and then they come down and you get to see them in person and actually get to take class with them and and it was wonderful learning their choreography."

Joining Wright in the class was Carolina Mojena, 36, who is an Ailey follower and taken part in one of their master classes before.

"I always come to see them when they're in Miami so it's a very fun and unique experience to be able to do some of the choreography that a lot of the dancers do on stage," said Mojena.

The troupe’s artistic director Robert Battle is from Miami. Alvin Ailey will be performing through Sunday at the Arsht Center. They will be doing a free performance for students on Friday morning.