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Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey dance group performs to inspire local youth

Ailey II
Posted at 7:55 PM, Apr 19, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For 40 years, the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey dance company has brought performances to theaters across the city.

On Friday, the group celebrated its legacy of inspiration by performing for metro-area students.

Approximately 700 students filled the Folly Theater in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, for a mini performance.

It's part of the dance group's outreach; it travels to cities across the United States and meets with youth, inspiring them by encouraging diversity in ideas.

“Oh my gosh, just seeing the children enjoying and having fun and being inspired by dance," Artistic Director Francesca Harper said. "I think that was the thing I left with today, which makes everything more meaningful and purposeful from what we do everyday, it’s just magical.”

Dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey brought a branch of the New York-based dance company to Kansas City in 1984, creating Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey.

The group found a home inside the Folly Theater at the corner of West 12th and Central streets.

“It’s our second home, and I am just so inspired by the kind of work and the arts, how alive they are in Kansas City," Harper said.