Ailey Extension Celebrates Black History Month With Virtual Workshops and Classes

February 2, 2021

This Black History MonthAiley Extension is taking students on a virtual world tour exploring a range of dance techniques from across the African diaspora.

Throughout February, dancers are invited to participate in special workshops and weekly classes that will expose them to the rich history of dances born from different Black communities in the USA, Caribbean, South America, and the continent of Africa.

Bahia soul meet Rio de Janeiro flair in a Celebrating Brasilian Carnaval workshop with Janete Silva and Danielle Lima on Saturday, February 13, 2021, at 4pmET. Janete Silva will take participants through the experience of dancing with the “Bloco Afro” Carnaval groups of her native Bahia which celebrate cultural manifestations of African origin.

Rio’s own Danielle Lima will then show students how to celebrate Carnaval Rio de Janeiro style, teaching her signature “samba no pe” footwork technique and an easy-to-follow routine from one of Rio’s samba schools.

This 90-minute experience allows participants to bring the spirit of Brasil’s world-famous carnaval celebration into their homes.

Students are invited to celebrate love during a Valentine’s Day Salsa workshop with Baila Society’s Fitgi Saint-Louis on Sunday, February 14, 2021, at 6pmET. Whether together, socially distanced, or flying solo, this holiday workshop is a fun way to come together and dance with the Ailey dance community.

Students will learn salsa etiquette and partner safety as well as the history and culture of this Latin dance style which has some African influences.

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Crowd-favorite La Mora returns on Saturday, February 20, 2021, at 2pmET for an Afro-Cuban Live workshop to help students explore various forms of the Afro-Cuban dance tradition including different movements representing the Orishas – deities from the West African Yoruba traditions brought to Cuba.

Originally hailing from Santiago de Cuba, La Mora’s expertise in the unique styles of her native region will help students embrace an understanding of the cultural and historical context of each step.

Dancers who cannot make the live workshop can instead opt for the Afro-Cuban On-demand version that will be made available from February 21 through the end of the month.

For the first-time in its five-year history the annual Ailey Experience Atlanta workshop series presented with AREA Atlanta in partnership with Destination Dance will be virtual, allowing Ailey fans around the globe to join in the unique occasion from February 19-February 21, 2021.

Throughout the three-day weekend event, participants as young as 8 years old can sit in on a free Alvin Ailey Global Influence Panel discussion between prominent directors of The Ailey School, Ailey Extension, and Arts in Education programs; take Horton, contemporary, and Ailey repertory classes taught by current Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Company members; and enjoy open level Masterclasses in modern dance with Associate Artistic Director Matthew Rushing and West African Family Master Class with Ailey Extension’s Maguette Camara.

Ailey Experience introduces participants to the exciting world of choreography and creativity while allowing fans to learn the rich history of Alvin Ailey’s signature style and how he changed the perception of American modern dance.

In addition to these timely workshops, students are encouraged to try any of the variety of weekly classes with roots in global Black cultures.

Students can jump into New York City’s influential dance scene by learning Beginner Hip Hop with the Bronx’s own Tweetboogie on Wednesdays at 6 pm and fellow New York native Robin Dunn on Fridays at 7:30 pm or while practicing their best runway walks during Vogue with ballroom legend Cesar Valentino on Saturdays at 4:30 pm.

Each Sunday at 4:30 pm Noibis Licea takes students on a Caribbean adventure as they practice Afro-Cuban Modern technique.

Dancers can journey to South America while exploring capoeira, the African-Brazilian martial art style which incorporates acrobats and dance on Sundays at 3 pm, immerse themselves in soulful African-Brazilian movement with Janete Silva on Sundays at 1:30 pm and learn samba footwork set to African drum beats with Danielle Lima on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 pm.

Students can also experience a West African class led by Senegalese superstar Maguette Camara complete with live drumming on Thursdays at 6 pm and Saturdays at 12noon. Each of these weekly classes let students fall in love with a new dance style and regularly return to improve their technique.

Ailey Extension Online offers more than 30 weekly classes in a variety of styles such as ballet, Pilates, contemporary, Zumba, Limon, Broadway jazz, yoga and more.

For more information on how to keep dancing with Ailey from the comfort of your home, please visit

To enjoy more offerings as part of Ailey All Access, including a free on-demand streaming of Alvin Ailey’s must-see American masterpiece Revelations from a 2015 broadcast of an Ailey at Lincoln Center performance, please visit

Special February Workshop for Adults

Celebrating Brasilian Carnaval with Danielle Lima and Janete Silva

Celebrate Brasil and the traditions of Carnaval at Ailey Extension with Danielle and Janete online! Dance through the basics of samba and African Brasilian dance and experience the roots of Brasil.

Students are first invited to celebrate Carnaval like Bahianos (people born in Bahia) with Janete Silva and experience the Blocos Afros groove. Bloco Afros are Carnaval groups which celebrate cultural manifestations of African origin.

The rhythms are based in what is called “samba afro” or “samba reggae” (which come in a number of variations) and the dress is African-inspired.

Then, students are invited to celebrate Carnaval like cariocas (people born in Rio de Janeiro) with Danielle Lima.

Danielle will teach “Samba no pé” and a simple choreography of a Samba de Enredo of one of Rio’s Samba School. Students will also learn some marchinhas de Carnaval song! Saturday, February 13, 2021, at 4pmET

Sign Up For the Class Here

Valentine’s Day Salsa with Baila Society

Start off your Valentine’s evening by celebrating love and friendship with dance at Ailey! Celebrate with your sweetheart (whether you’re together or not) with the ideal pre-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.

No partner or experience is required—meet new people in our online community where folks come together to enjoy dance. Sunday, February 14, 2021, at 6pmET

Sign Up For the Class Here

Afro-Cuban Live with La Mora

This workshop is intended to create a movement environment that explores the various forms of Afro-Cuban dance tradition.

Based on each dancer’s skill, knowledge, and experience, La Mora allows participants to embrace an accessible path to understanding dance through the quality of movement, and cultural context. Saturday, February 20, 2021, at 2 pm ET or On-Demand February 21-28, 2021,

Sign-Up For the Class Here

Ailey Experience Atlanta in partnership with Destination Dance

Ailey Experience Atlanta in partnership with Destination Dance celebrates over forty years of a rich partnership with the city’s most prominent arts and civic organizations.

This year, we are proud to team up with AREA Atlanta to bring Ailey Experience online to the greater Atlanta area and across the country. The Ailey Experience workshop series is designed to expand on Alvin Ailey’s life-long commitment to give dance back to the people by making dance accessible to everyone.

Fans of all ages and experience levels can explore the diversity of the Ailey dancer with technique classes in Horton, contemporary, and West African, while leaning into the exciting world of choreography, creativity, and fun in a non-competitive environment.

The workshops give dancers the opportunity to study with prominent dancers in the field—this year all classes will be taught by leading company members of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Participants will also learn the rich history of Ailey’s signature style and how he changed the perception of American modern dance. Friday, February 19 – Sunday, February 21, 2021.

Sign Up For the Class Here

Special workshops and weekly classes from Ailey Extension take place virtually on Zoom

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