Born on January 5th 1931, in Rogers, Texas USA. Alvin grew up in a small town of Navasota. When he was 5yrs of age his mother was raped by a group of white men, after that Alvin didn’t trust white people. Alvin as a young boy always had to fend for himself as his mother was working all the time to support them both in that economy (the recession). When Alvin’s school went on a school excursion to see the ballet Russe de Monte Carlo performed, Ailey was inspired to pursue dance. Ailey’s curiosity was so intense that he found himself peaking in the stage door to catch sight of the performance of Dunham’s Tropical Revue; this was the beginning of Ailey’s lifelong passion for dance. As early has as high school Alvin conflicted about his sexuality. He never overcame this internal conflict but never totally accepted about himself. In 1945 when Alvin turned into a young adult his mother remarried, this new family, this had a hard adjustment for Ailey as he remembered he was not the central of his mother life. At this stage of his life his established himself with the Lester Horton Dance Theatre and his work and life consumed him. Alvin took dance classes in the style and method of choreographer and dancer Katherine Dunham, from a student of hers. However he was not really comfortable with this style of dance that involved him abandoning oneself to sensuous full body movement. In 1949 Ailey became serious about dance with his friend Carmen de Lavallade who introduced him to Hollywood studio of Lester Horton. Horton’s school taught a wide range of styles and techniques including classical ballet, jazz and Native American dance, he saw Lester’s style was more straight forward. He watched dancers from different races perform together, something he had never seen before, he was impressed by the tremendous physical strength and coordination movements demanded from the dancers. After seeing the school performance of fellow Jefferson high school, Alvin signed on...
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