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Student dancing onstage during graduation ceremony

Mason School of Dance students often have the opportunity to learn from such companies as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which contributes to the joy of graduating with a degree in what they love.

In Performance at the Kennedy Center

Students from George Mason University’s School of Dance rehearsed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with one of the most famous modern dance companies in the world

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater opened its 18-city 2015 tour in Washington, D.C., but before they hit the stage, members of the company made a personal visit to Mason’s dance students.

“The current Ailey Company tour brought Hope (Boykin) and the associate artistic director Masazumi Chaya near to campus, so they visited the ‘Vespers’ rehearsal to give notes to the dancers,” Mason School of Dance director Susan Shields says.

“Vespers,” choreographed by the late Ulysses Dove, was created for the Ailey Company and is a mainstay in its repertory, she noted. Early in January, Boykin, a current Ailey company member, came to campus to teach the work to the selected Mason students, Shields says.

"Our cast will travel to the Kennedy Center to rehearse backstage with members of the Ailey company … a huge honor.”

Mason School of Dance director Susan Shields

The Mason Dance Company performed the “Vespers” and two other pieces as part of its 2015 Gala Concert at Mason’s Center for the Arts on the Fairfax Campus. For the first time, one night of the Gala Concert will be performed at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on Mason’s Prince William Campus.