Monday, July 19, 2010

denise jefferson + the heart of ailey.

‎"I believe you can’t be a dancer if your spirit is restrained and cut off. You must touch that special thing inside." - denise jefferson.


Every dancer should be sad today.
This past weekend, Denise Jefferson, the director of the Ailey School, passed away after a long battle with ovarian cancer. She has been director of the school since 1984 and a teacher at the school since 1974. Mr. Ailey chose her as the director of the school because he trusted her with passing on the gift and knowledge of dance to every student that ever passed through the school. The school has a legacy of hardwork, suffering, and glory.

Today there was a massive student meeting, and every student was packed into one studio. It was amazing though. I wish someone had taken a picture - there was a closeness and intimacy that was felt throughout the room as we all found out the sad news. Judith Jamison, the artistic director of the company, came in and spoke to us about Ms. Jefferson's life and what she meant to the school. And she said this, "Ms. Jefferson was a part of the heart of Ailey...you are all the heart of Ailey. So dance because you love it and you have to...she's smiling down on all of you."

Here's to the heart of Ailey and Ms. Jefferson.


i remember the time you told me love is touching souls
surely you touched mine

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