What’s Working: Clinton student accepted into The Ailey School

CLINTON, Miss. (WJTV) — Alvin Ailey is credited with making modern dance popular not only in America but around the world.

He passed away back in 1989, but his school lives on in New York City and provides world class training for dancers ages 3 to 25. A local teenager has been accepted into The Ailey School. Madison Johnson is looking forward to her first time on a plane and learning from some of the best instructors in the world.

Clinton High School sophomore Madison Johnson has been dancing since she was 3 years old. It’s been a great outlet for her energy and creativity. She recently auditioned with scores of other young people in Atlanta in ballet and modern dance.

Madison dreamed of being accepted into the Alvin Ailey School of Dance. Anticipation built week after week until a letter finally arrived. Her parents opened it first.

“They had a paper turned over on my desk, but I thought it was just a regular school paper, and it turned it over, and it was like, ‘You’ve been accepted into the Alvin Ailey’, and I was just like super-excited. I was dancing around the house. That was fun.”

Madison has practiced for 9 years at Dance Works Studio in Clinton. Her local instructor could not be more proud.

“For what we’ve been doing, that’s kind of like the utmost honor to be able to do that, and to be accepted into Alvin Ailey, into that school, just the top students in the nation will be able to do that,” Adriana Heindl said.

For six weeks over the Summer, Madison study in the heart of New York’s theater district, getting intense training from some of the best dancers in the world.

“I’m a little nervous, but I’m excited to you know, meet new people, have fun and like experience more, improve on the technique and become more professional,” Madison said.

Her proud parents plan to accompany Madison to New York, but they can’t stay the whole time.
“We think that we have kind of been preparing her for this type of lifestyle,: said Vera Johnson, Madison’s mom. “Especially if this is what she wants to do.”

“If I can make it there, I can make it, you know, anywhere,” Madison said.

Madison is also a member of the Clinton High School cheer squad, Arrow Court and Track Team.

Even though she is still in high school, Madison also performs with the Montage Dance Theater of Hinds Community College.

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