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Judith Jamison
Judith Jamison

Judith Jamison

Alvin Ailey Dance Theater

New York, NY USA

"It's okay to have doubts and to be scared, but get to your core...What truth are you trying to say in your life?"

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Judith's work combines: Acting & Theatre, Art, and Being Creative

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Day In The Life

Choreographer/Artistic Director

I create art through dance and am committed to asserting the prominence of the arts in our culture.

Skills & Education

Here's the path I took:

  • High School

  • Bachelor's Degree

    Dance, General

    Philadelphia Dance Academy

Life & Career Milestones

My path in life has been direct

  • 1.

    Says she learned about pageantry and art in church, as well as how to have the tenacity to get up every Sunday and go, even when she didn't want to.

  • 2.

    Remembers her first dance recital at six years old; when she heard the applause, something clicked.

  • 3.

    When she was 10 years old, she was already taking adult-level dance classes.

  • 4.

    Went to Fisk University, where she got a physical education degree; while there, she was discovered by Agnes de Mille.

  • 5.

    Her first major performance role was at the Met-says, "nobody gets their first gig at the Met, but that was me."

  • 6.

    Afterwards, she couldn't find any roles for African-American women, so she had to spend months working at a fair.

  • 7.

    After losing a part at an audition, she met Alvin Ailey, who invited her to come dance with his company.

  • 8.

    Her career paved the way for female African-American dancers; she was the first African-American to appear on the cover of Dance magazine.