Burn up the dance floor at Ailey Extension

West African Class at Ailey Extension NYCThis summer, Ailey Extension has launched new weekly classes and one-time-only workshops for adults and even for the entire family. From dance fitness to bellydance to yoga classes, there’s something for students of all levels and backgrounds. Led by New York City’s best choreographers and teachers, these classes are held at The Joan Weill Center for Dance – home of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.




DanceFit with Karen Arceneaux – Tuesdays, 6-7pm


This 60-minute, high-intensity class is a full-body workout with a mix of cardio and strength training to sculpt the entire body. In addition to being a weight loss specialist and certified personal trainer, Karen Arceneaux teaches beginner Horton technique and Zumba three times a week at Ailey Extension.


Bar Bhangra® with Sarina Jain – Wednesdays, 6-7pm


Bar Bhangra is a strength-training workout that will effectively tone and build muscle, and burn fat/calories. While dancing to infectious Indian beats for 60 minutes, the workout utilizes one-pound bars or weights that will leave you feeling stronger. Instructor Sarina Jain is creator of the popular Masala Bhangra Workout, a high-energy Indian folk dance class that blends Bhangra steps with exhilarating Bollywood moves.


West African Dance Family Series – Saturdays, 11:30am-1pm


Open to the whole family, this high-energy class is great for adults and kids (ages 10+). With an emphasis on technique, execution, and the rhythm of the drum, this class begins with a warm-up, followed by a sequence of moves across the floor, and culminates with energetic choreography. A native of the Ivory Coast in West Africa, instructor Yah’ Ya Kamate drums live during each class.


Morning Yoga with The Lion King’s Lisa-Marie Lewis – Saturdays, 10:30-11:30am


Blending a strong vinyasa practice with restorative and meditative asanas, this morning class offers yoga practice in full vigor and grace. Postures can be modified or progressed if the body and breath are synchronized with each other, making this class accessible and engaging for all levels. Beginning on her path to yoga 15 years ago, Lisa-Marie Lewis toured with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, performed as a Radio City Rockette/Assistant Dance Captain for 10 years, and currently dazzles the stage in the Broadway production of The Lion King.


Each weekly class is $20 per student. Students must be 16 years or older to attend DanceFit, Bar Bhangra, or Morning Yoga.




Kick It Up Cabaret! Workshop – Saturday, July 29, 2-4:30pm / $45


This revolutionary bellydance fitness class burns more than 350 calories per hour! Instructor Oreet’s breakdown and repetition-inspired method provides an enjoyable, easy-to-follow workout for women of all sizes, shapes, and skill levels. During this workshop, you’ll strengthen your core, burn fat, and increase your heart rate.


SharQui Bellydance Workshop – Sunday, July 30, 11:30am-12:30pm / $20


During this one-hour workshop, students will work on timing and precision with fun, fast, and modern cabaret bellydance choreography. With muscle-building drills specific to all genres of bellydance, the workshop is set to Nancy Ajram’s song “Belhadawa.”


In addition to these new classes and summer workshops for adults, Ailey Extension offers 25 different dance and fitness classes for the general public, including hip-hop, ballet, Zumba, and Horton. For the complete Ailey Extension schedule or to register for a class, visit www.aileyextension.com.


Photo: West African Class at Ailey Extension. Photo by Arthur Coopchik.