People don't remember me for how high my legs went, even though they went up very high, and how many pirouettes I did. They don't remember me for that. They remember me and any other dancer because something touched them inside. It's an indelible memory on the heart and in the mind.
Dancing is bigger than the physical body. Think bigger than that. When you extend your arm, it doesn't stop at the end of your fingers, because you're dancing bigger than that. You're dancing spirit.
We're dancing from here, from inside, not from outside. You could look at anybody throwing their leg and kick their leg up and a million pirouettes and do all kinds of tricks and stuff like that. But that's not what dance is really about.
People come to see beauty, and I dance to give it to them.
I believe God has a path for me. He's always had a path for me, and I've always been in the right place at the right time - not because of my efforts, but because of my preparation and because of the guides that I have, the mentors that I have, the spiritual walkers that I've had all my life.
As long as there are dancers around who love to dance, there will be an Alvin Ailey American Dance Company. We miss him so much, but he's alive as soon as you see a dancer hit the stage.
The way Alvin Ailey has transformed modern dance and dance in general is the fact of variety. It's a cornucopia of ways to move. There are choreographers in the company as - as diverse, as different from each other as Donald McKayle and Bill T. Jones, or Jawole Zollar and John Butler, Lar Lubovitch, you know, and Judith Jamison.
I want to know who you are as a person, and then I want you to develop as a whole human being.
Maybe it's a generational thing, but I never wanted to be the best black dancer in the world. I just wanted to be the best.
Since babyhood, I've always evolved from one thing to another. My mother gave me ballet lessons at 6 as part of her enthusiasm for the arts and for life. We went to museums, to the theater. While her own talent was untapped, she worked for church causes.
I don't think of myself as a leader. I am, but I don't think of myself that way. I'm not trying to belittle what I do, but I think of myself as a dancer first. I'll always be a dancer.
Dance is not endangered - it will always find a way to express itself.
Dancers use their bodies in extraordinary ways, so we are chronically pre-arthritic, because of how we use our muscles and our bones.
I believe in being prepared. I'm going to say that. Pray, prepare, proceed.
I haven't had a family, but I don't think of that as a sacrifice: my dancers are my family.
I was a protege; by the age of 10, I was studying with ballet choreographer Anthony Tudor in a class of adults.
I went to an audition for a Harry Belafonte Roaring Twenties special for choreographer Donald McKayle, but I failed.
I'm very smart when it comes to choosing dancers and trying to show the world that there's a whole lot of dancing going on.
I've been in a competitive situation almost all my life. I've been having a competition with myself and trying to be the best I could be.
I've danced all over the world, and people are people. We cannot cut off from each other in life. In order to lead, you can't do that.