Alvin Ailey was a dancer, choreographer, and activist born in 1931 during the Great Depression and a time of racial segregation. At 18, his life was forever changed after seeing a ballet performance where he discovered dance was his passion. Lester Horton became his mentor and inspiration.
Five years later, he made his Broadway debut in House of Flowers by Truman Capote with only more dance success to come. At 27, he formed his own dance company the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He died at 58, but the dance theater continues to perform and thrive!