The Ailey School FAQs

Professional Division
Junior Division


Download Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. Timeline & FAQ

How do I apply to the program?
The Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. Program requires the standard college application for Fordham University and the BFA Dance Application for The Ailey School. Please ensure you include all supplementary materials required for each application as listed. Fordham University requires an application fee; The Ailey School does not. If you are invited to audition, there is a small audition fee required at that time.

When are the applications due?
Please note that our admissions procedures have changes. Both the Dance Application to The Ailey School and the Common Application for Fordham University are now due on November 1, 2011.

Why are there two separate applications?
Fordham University and The Ailey School are two separate institutions and therefore have different application requirements. The decision for acceptance into the B.F.A. program requires that a student be accepted to both institutions. The separate applications allow a student to attend a different program in one school if they are not accepted by the other without having to reapply.

How do I apply for financial aid?
Fordham University requires both the FAFSA (Federal Application for Financial Student Aid) and the CSS Profile. Both applications can be completed online: FAFSA -  If you have more questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office at Fordham University or phone at 212-636-6700.

Can I transfer in the spring semester?
No. Because the program syllabus is based on a full year, transfer admission is granted for the fall term only.

As an applicant, is it required that I have experience in Horton and Graham-based modern to apply?
No. The Ailey School will hold placement classes for all new students, after which those with little to no experience with either modern technique will be placed in level one for both.

If I am invited to audition, should I travel to New York?
The same artistic panel adjudicates each audition and the same audition material is given in each city which allows for a fair audition process for all students. If you are interested in viewing the facilities of The Ailey School and Fordham University, this can be done once you are accepted and are making your decision about which university to attend. Fordham University holds an open house for accepted students in April and current B.F.A. students will be on hand for a small performance and discussion. Please make arrangements to visit in advance.

What is the maximum length for the solo?
The maximum length is three (3) minutes, but it should not be less than two (2) minutes.

When will I be informed of the acceptance decision?
You will be informed by Fordham University, not The Ailey School, between the end of March and the middle of April 2012.

What is the maximum number of students accepted?
The number of students accepted in a given year is determined by the total program enrollment. The typical class size does not exceed 35 students.

Do you choose students in order to fulfill a male to female ratio?
The Ailey School will choose students who are exceptional dancers just as Fordham University will choose students who excel academically, with no emphasis placed on the applicant’s gender.

What is the schedule like for B.F.A. students?
After taking placement classes, all students receive a customized dance schedule that reflects their previous training. A student’s schedule might consist of a dance class at Ailey in the morning, an academic class at Fordham, a lunch break, and then one or two more dance classes. There are no dance classes or rehearsals on Saturday or Sunday.

Will B.F.A. students take classes at Fordham’s Rose Hill campus?
All B.F.A. students will take classes only at Lincoln Center campus.

Where will B.F.A. students live?
All B.F.A. students will live at the Lincoln Center campus if they have chosen to live in the dorm. If a student accepts housing as a freshman, they are guaranteed housing throughout their four years as long as they remain in the dorm. Students may live off campus if they wish but it is very difficult to move back into the dorm once they have moved out.

What courses are taken at The Ailey School? What courses are taken at Fordham University?
All dance technique courses are taken at The Ailey School, along with a few dance academic courses such as Anatomy & Kinesiology and Performance and Art. All academic courses are taken at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus, along with a few dance academic courses such as Music for Dancers and Dance History.

Are there opportunities for students to perform?
The freshmen and sophomores participate in workshops which result in performances in the fall and spring. The juniors take a Repertory Workshop that culminates in studio showings and performances. In the senior year, students will participate in Ailey/Fordham Student Dancers (AFSD) and perform numerous times in the tri-state area. Various student-run concerts and private engagements offer students more opportunities to perform as well.


back to top

Professional Division FAQs

Download Professional Division FAQs

If I want to be considered for acceptance to the Independent Study Program or the Summer Intensive Program, do I have to submit the required application materials AND attend an audition?
No, it is not necessary to do both.  Students who do not live within a reasonable traveling distance to one of our audition sites may submit an application, a DVD, and photographs for acceptance to the Independent Study Program or the Summer Intensive program in lieu of an in-person audition.

Is there a fee to audition?
There is a $20 audition fee for all Certificate Program, Independent Study Program, and Summer Program auditions.  You can sign up for the audition and pay the fee by following the links on the Admissions page of the web site.  There is no fee to take the Scholarship Program audition, which takes place in New York, at The Ailey School twice annually.

Is there a fee to apply by application?
There is a $20 fee for all Independent Study Program and Summer Intensive Program applications. You may pay the fee by credit card, money order, or certified check when you send in your DVD, photographs, and application form.

Can I apply to the Certificate Program and the Scholarship Program by submitting a DVD, photographs and application if I do not live near an audition site?
No.  An in-person audition is required of all students who wish to be considered for acceptance to the Certificate or Scholarship Programs.

Is it possible to attend less than the full 6 weeks of the Summer Intensive Program?
No.  Summer Intensive Students must attend all 6 weeks of the full-time program.  Students who are unable to attend the full session are advised to attend classes on an open enrollment basis during the summer instead.

How long must I wait to re-audition for a program if I have not been accepted the first time?
Students may attend one live audition per year or submit one DVD application per year. 
If you are not accepted at your first audition, you must wait until the following year to try again.

When will I be notified of my audition/application status?
Notification of acceptance will be sent by e-mail within three weeks of the live audition or receipt of a DVD application.

May I receive a critical evaluation of my audition?
No. The Ailey School does not provide performance critiques or discuss the artistic panel’s decision after an audition.

If I have never had Horton technique or Graham-based modern, can I take both techniques at the same time?
Students may take both Horton and Graham-based modern even if they have no prior training in those techniques. However, in some cases Faculty Advisors may feel it is more beneficial for a student to concentrate on one technique only. This is decided on a case by case basis between Faculty Advisor and student.

How are students placed in the appropriate technique levels?
Each student at The Ailey School is placed in levels according to their individual proficiency in ballet, Horton, and Graham-based modern. Levels are determined by the department chairpersons during placement classes at the beginning of the students first term of study. Students are advised that levels at The Ailey School may not correspond to the levels at their prior schools. The Ailey School has 7 levels of ballet, 4 levels of Horton, and 4 levels of Graham-based modern. Pointe, Partnering, and Men’s Ballet are offered to students in Ballet IV or higher. Students are in placed jazz levels according to their ballet levels.
Does the School provide assistance in finding housing for students coming from out of the state to study during the academic year?

Yes.  The Ailey School has limited housing during the academic year at The Ludlow Residence dormitory in lower Manhattan. Housing at The Ludlow Residence is partially subsidized and granted to students based on their financial need and artistic merit.  

Does the School provide assistance in finding housing for students coming from out of the state to study In the Summer Intensive Program?
Yes.  The Ailey School offers housing at the nearby Fordham University dormitory for students 15 years of age and older, and at the Ludlow Residence for students who are 20 years of age and older. Students must be enrolled in the Summer Intensive Program to be eligible for summer housing.

How can I audition for Ailey II?
Admission to Ailey II is by invitation only.  Students from the school's full-time training programs are invited to audition for Ailey II by The Ailey School Co-Directors and the Ailey II Artistic Director.

Can I perform outside of the school if I am offered a company or professional job?
Only advanced students who are on Threshold or in their last year of study and are preparing to enter the dance field may request permission from The Ailey School Co-Directors to perform outside of the School.

Are scholarships available?
Yes.  A limited number of merit-based scholarships are available to students who meet the artistic criteria for acceptance to the Scholarship Program. Scholarships are awarded on an annual basis during the academic year and summer term by audition only. Merit-based scholarships are not available to students in the Independent Study Program or Certificate Program, although those students may apply for need-based Federal Financial Aid.

If I am an international student and I wish to apply for Post Completion Practical training, how long must I attend The Ailey School?
International students must successfully complete the program in which they are enrolled in order to be eligible for Post -Completion Practical Training: three years in the Certificate Program; one year in the Independent Study Program; and one year in the Scholarship Program.

Am I allowed to take additional classes in The Ailey Extension while pursuing my full-time studies?
Yes.  Professional Division students who are enrolled in any of the full time programs may attend Ailey Extension classes for 1/2 price on weekends only.  Students may not attend Ailey Extension classes Monday through Friday.

Am I allowed to take addition Professional Division classes as an open enrollment student while pursuing my full time studies?
No. Students are not allowed to take any Professional Division classes other than the classes that have been assigned to them by their Faculty Advisor.

back to top


Junior Division FAQs

Download Junior Division FAQs

Can my child take open classes in the Professional Division?
No, students under the age of 16 cannot participate in professional level classes, regardless of their years of training or proficiency.

Does my child have to take all of the classes assigned to him/ her?
Yes!  Because the Junior Division Program is curriculum based, students must participate in every class assigned to his or her level in order to meet the requirements to advance to the next level.

Does my child have to attend classes on Saturdays?  Weekdays?
All Junior Division Students must attend all of the classes assigned to their level.

How much is the tuition?
Tuition fees are based on the level and program in which the student is placed.  Please see Tuition and Fees in the Junior Division area of the website.

Are there scholarships?
Yes, intermediate and advanced students between the ages of 15-17 may audition for a scholarship during the school year and in the summer.  The audition dates and times are listed on the Junior Division calendar.

What day and time would my child's classes take place?
Class schedules are based on student placement and class levels.

Can students try a class? (Sample class)
Students are not allowed to sample a class. Anyone participating in Junior Division classes must be enrolled in the Junior Division program.

Do I have to participate in all 5 weeks of the summer program?

Can my child take only the Tap class or the West African or the Modern?
No, students must participate in the full curriculum of classes assigned to their level.  There are no open classes available in the Junior Division.

How will the placement of my child be determined?
The placement of Junior Division students is determined by their proficiency in ballet.

Who do I contact if I need answers to other questions not mentioned here?
Email the Junior Division Coordinator or call 212-405-9143.

back to top