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Syracuse native steps up at Ailey

Created in 1958 by Alvin Ailey, who died in 1989, AAADT has performed for 21 million people in 48 states and 71 countries. Mitchell doesn't argue when you call making the senior company a pinnacle.

"It is for concert dance, yes," she said. "For that, it's pretty much everything I've always wanted. And I want to do a dozen more things too."

Meanwhile, a hectic schedule awaits the touring dancers in late October when they get back.

"We'll have a week off to recuperate," said Mitchell. "But the New York City dance season starts December 3rd so there are intense classes and rehearsals right away to get ready."

Mitchell got her early dance training locally from her mother's Onondaga Dance Institute, Dance Centre North, and Syracuse University's Tony Salatino. She was a fellowship student at the Ailey School, also studied at North Carolina Dance Theater, Lines Ballet School and the Joffrey Ballet School. A graduate of the joint Ailey/Fordham University B.F.A. program, she joined Ailey II last year.

To local dancers, she says, "Really, make yourself aware of what's out there in the world. It will give you an edge in your artistry and your art."

Photo is Aisha Mitchell_taken by Richard Calmes

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