Inside Ailey II

For more than 40 years, Ailey II, the junior ensemble of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, has thrilled audiences with its performances.

- For more than 40 years, Ailey II, the junior ensemble of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, has thrilled audiences with its performances. The company travels for most of the year, but comes back to New York City for its two week season every spring.

Most of the young dancers in Ailey II were inspired to study dance as young children. For example, Samantha Barriento was 10 years old when she saw her first Ailey show.

Alvin Ailey was clearly a visionary, handpicking kids from the inner city to be a part of his dance company through a program called Arts Connection.

Ailey II performances can be described as moving and diverse. "Something Tangible" was inspired by emotions that awaken the human spirit. There is also the duet "Gemeos."

The day I stopped by, I caught them rehearsing the crowd pleaser "I Am the Road," a pulsating work set to house music by choreographer Kyle Clark.

Dancer Lloyd Boyd insists that anyone who comes to see Ailey II perform will leave feeling lifted.

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