#ThrowBackThursday: Judith Jamison

Today's Throwback Thursday belongs to dancer and choreographer Judith Jamison!

Growing up in Philadelphia, African Americans could not study classical ballet. Nevertheless, Judith's mother enrolled her six-year-old daughter in classes at studios she shouldn't have been able to.

Judith joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1965 and over the next 15 years, originated some of Mr. Ailey's most enduring roles, most notably the sixteen minute solo that catapulted her into fame, "Cry." Alvin Ailey dedicated the dance to "all-black women everywhere."

 In 1989, Judith returned to Alvin Ailey as Artistic Director. In the 21 years that followed, Jamison brought the Company to new heights – including two historic engagements in South Africa and a 50-city global tour to celebrate the Company’s 50th anniversary. On May 10th, Judith celebrates her 71st birthday. Happy birthday, Judith!