Dance students at Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy acquired new skills and invaluable insight from one of the industry’s brightest stars, as Alvin Ailey star dancer and master teacher Nasha Thomas led the renowned Revelations Residency student workshop at their school on Feb. 13.
Designed to cultivate self-esteem and provide an in-depth study of language arts, social studies and dance, the week-long Revelations Residency allowed students to learn from an experienced artist and gain inspiration for the art form.
Throughout the week, students learned about Ailey’s life and legacy as a dancer and artist while also exploring new modern dance techniques. They also practiced some key movements that are part of Revelations, one of the Ailey’s best-known works.
Audrey Waters-Potter, dance instructor at CSKYWLA, said the experience was especially significant for her students.
“My students now have that personal connection with the organization,” she said. “I hope they’re inspired by seeing performers who are excellent in this craft and that look like them. It lets them know they can do it too.”
Students at CSKYWLA will be further inspired during a special performance by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the Fox Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 20. While there, they will witness Revelations, the must-see American masterpiece that has inspired millions in more than 70 countries and is considered the most widely seen modern dance work in the world.
“Mr. Ailey believed in sharing and giving back to the community. He believed that dance came from the people and should be delivered back to the people, and he always wanted his company to be accessible,” Thomas noted. “So, it’s not just enough for people to come and see us perform, but these young people are our future and they’re our future arts supporters as well. So, it’s important that they explore their creativity, their voices and have an arts experience.”
Held in partnership with the Destination Dance partnership initiative in Atlanta, the residency program and special performance aim to deepen Ailey’s commitment to the city through collaborations with arts and civic organizations, using dance as a centerpiece for engagement.