Beaming on Broadway
By Rachel Buttner
Not far from Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus are the bright lights of Broadway, where many of Fordham’s graduates find careers in production, publicity, and performance.
Four graduates of the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. program, Marija Juliette Abney, Taeler Elyse Cyrus, Erin N. Moore, and Monique Smith, are currently dancing in the Tony Award-nominated After Midnight, a Broadway revue that celebrates the jazz music of the1930s Cotton Club. The show’s producers were looking for “regality and refinement,” says Smith, who credits the Ailey/Fordham program for being “quite successful at training incredibly refined dancers.”
The highly competitive Ailey/Fordham program demands discipline. Students complete Fordham’s liberal arts core while taking more than a dozen dance technique and creative classes, including daily classical ballet and Horton- or Graham-based modern classes through the prestigious Ailey School.
“Many times in my dance career, I have had to do a similar balancing act of juggling dance class, auditions, voice lessons, shows—sometimes all in the same day,” says Moore.
“Once you graduate, there is no roadmap telling you what to do next,” she says, “but it’s helpful to have alumni in different parts of the field. It gives you access to opportunities that you would have otherwise missed.”
Recently 80 percent of the graduating class landed professional contracts in companies around the country and the world. The program’s alumni have found employment opportunities with Cirque du Soleil, Vertigo Dance in Israel, Parsons Dance, and many more.