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Ailey Extension Online Celebrates National Dance Day With Virtual Workshops and Classes

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National Dance Day is this Saturday, September 19.

Ailey Extension Online Celebrates National Dance Day With Virtual Workshops and Classes

Ailey Extension is celebrating National Dance Day this Saturday, September 19 with a full day of virtual classes and workshops to bring out the inner dancer in people from various ages, experience levels and abilities. Established in 2010 by American Dance Movement co-founder Nigel Lythgoe and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, National Dance Day is an annual celebration dedicated to dance, that encourages Americans of all ages to incorporate dance into their lives. By offering a variety of classes throughout the day that allow students of different ages to keep dancing for fun and fitness, Ailey Extension is ensuring there is a dance class fit for everyone to celebrate.

Aspiring dancers can join one of the most recognized leading dancers of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Linda Celeste Sims, for a special Modern Dance Workshop. A recipient of the prestigious Dance Magazine Award and noted for her lyrical musicality, agile extensions, and graceful jumps, Linda will explore with participants the process of self-expression as they gain a better understanding of technique and performance.

Acclaimed instructor Richard Martinez returns to help dancers get moving during a virtual Zumba® Workshop. The high energy, body toning, dance fitness party will help participants embrace dance as a fun and effective form of exercise.

Dancers are also encouraged to discover different styles through Ailey Extension's wide assortment of livestream dance classes available throughout the day. From 9am-8:30pmEDT, students will have the chance to dive into world styles with West African, salsa, and capoeira; rehearse technique during ballet; practice movement as exercise with Pilates and Zumba®; and build confidence while moving to street styles during vogue and house. The robust range of class options offers a class to match all interests and abilities.

Children ages 10-12 can also participate in National Dance Day by joining the inaugural Junior Ballet and Junior Horton classes of Ailey Extension's Fall/Winter 2020 Kids & Teens Online program. Both Junior Ballet with Ailey dancer Linda Celeste Sims and Junior Horton with in-demand instructor Karen Arceneaux allow young dancers to work on flexibility and coordination with their movements as they develop a love of dance.

To keep dancing with Ailey without having to leave your home, please visit to find further information, including how to register for Ailey Extension's over 30 weekly classes and workshops. In addition to joining in the dance, be inspired by viewing other offerings as part of Ailey All Access, including performances, conversations and short films created by the Ailey dancers. For an extended period of time, enjoy 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 that also includes Wayne McGregor's sumptuous Chroma, Ronald K. Brown's Grace, and Robert Battle's humorous, high-flying Takademe. Marking 60 years of inspiring audiences across the world, the soul-stirring Revelations pays homage to the rich African-American cultural heritage in an uplifting celebration of the human spirit that is needed now more than ever.


ZUMBA® WORKSHOP with Richard Martinez

Richard Martinez is returning to Ailey Extension to burn up the dance floor with his unique style for a total body workout. Get ready for a high energy cardio, body toning, fun fitness dance party open to all levels. Saturday, September 19 from 11:30am-12:30pm.

MODERN DANCE WORKSHOP with Linda Celeste Sims

As one of the most recognized leading dancers of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Linda Celeste Sims is noted for her lyrical musicality, agile extensions, and graceful jumps. Treasured for her power and gracefulness, Linda executes movement with absolute precision accompanied by memorable performances. Open to all levels, this workshop will begin with a modern dance warm-up followed by an in-depth study of movement and choreography. Students will gain a better understanding of technique and explore the process of self-expression. Saturday, September 19 from 1:30pm - 3pmEDT.

PILATES with Sarita Allen

This class is designed to help redefine the body with exercises rooted in ballet, modern dance, and yoga that will focus on developing strength and flexibility through graceful movements to lengthen, strengthen and improve the functionality of muscle groups often ignored in traditional exercise. Saturdays at 9amEDT


This class is designed for students with fundamental understanding of classical ballet. Students will focus on technique and placement while emphasizing musicality in a safe and supportive atmosphere. Saturdays at 10:30amEDT


Body, mind and spirit combine in an energetic union of music, dance and oral tradition. This class is a high-spirited, high-powered rhythmic dance experience for anyone who loves to dance. Saturdays at 12pmEDT


This class is designed for students with fundamental understanding of classical ballet. Students will focus on technique and placement while emphasizing musicality in a safe and supportive atmosphere. Saturdays at 1:30pmEDT


While salsa is sweeping across the globe, there is no better place to learn it than New York City, considered by many to be the "mecca" of salsa. Our class will start with exercises to get you moving comfortably and confidently to Latin rhythms, transitioning into fundamental salsa footwork, called "shines" in New York City. Taking a unique approach to partnerwork, this class features BAILA Society's "Salsa 7", the seven most popular figures in their most basic form and the foundation of partnerwork in New York Style Salsa. Saturdays at 3pmEDT


Capoeira is an African-Brazilian martial art that incorporates acrobatics, dance, music, and songs in a rhythmic dialogue of body, mind, and spirit. It is a communal game in which two opponents play each other inside the roda (a circle), formed by the other players who create rhythm for the game by clapping, singing and playing the berimbaus (African-Brazilian traditional instruments, considered the soul of Capoeira) and other key instruments. Saturdays at 3pmEDT


Students will learn the fundamentals of vogue dancing, classic runway as well as current trends in runway modeling and voguing with special attention paid to its rich history. Saturdays at 4:30pmEDT


Zumba® Fitness is a feel-happy workout that combines a motivating fusion of Latin and international music. Saturdays at 6pmEDT


Great for beginners, this class breaks down basic steps (like jacking, skating, chase, salsa hop, sidewalk, stomp, and shuffle step) to build a solid foundation that will allow students to move, groove, and freestyle to the music. Saturdays at 7:30pmEDT



Kids & Teens Online is open to children of all genders and 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. Session I runs from Sept. 15 - Oct. 25; Session II runs from Nov 1. - Dec. 13.

JUNIOR BALLET (Ages 10-12) Saturdays, 12:00-1:00pmEDT

Linda Celeste Sims will progress students at the barre, develop coordination through combinations, develop flexibility, and grow their ballet vocabulary.

JUNIOR HORTON TECHNIQUE (Ages 10-12) Saturdays, 1:30-2:30pmEDT

Karen Arceneaux will teach the fundamentals of the Horton technique using dance exercises to expand on flexibility, strength and musicality. Dancers are introduced to a class format that focuses on posture, placement, and coordination.

In addition to these exciting classes and workshops for National Dance Day, Ailey Extension offers more than 30 weekly classes in several different dance and fitness techniques, including ballet, hip hop, yoga, West African, Pilates and many more. For the complete schedule of livestream and on-demand classes or to register, visit

All livestreamed classes and workshops from Ailey Extension take place virtually on Zoom

Additional on-demand classes are available on Ailey Extension's YouTube channel

Photo Credit: Andrew Eccles

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