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On February 12, 2016

Sarita Allen

Sarita Allen, a world-renowned dancer, performing artist and teacher; whose career spans three decades, began her training at the acclaimed Cornish School of the Arts in Seattle Washington, and later received a scholarships to the Dance Theater of Harlem and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New York City. Allen’s strength, technical acumen, and strong theatrical ability brought her to the attention of renowned choreographer Alvin Ailey. During her twenty-year association with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, founder Ailey choreographed eight works featuring Allen; and she has performed Revelations for two United States Presidents at the White House. Allen has worked with many renowned choreographers including Elisa Monte (Treading, Pigs and Fishes), Judith Jamison (Hymn) and George Faison (Suite Otis, Gazelle).

As principal dancer, company teacher and school faculty member with the Ailey Company Allen’s most notable performances include The Metropolitan Opera, The Paris Opera, La Scala, The Pyramids at Giza, Tivili Theater in Copenhagen, The White House for the inaugurations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton. In 2004 she received an award for her contribution to the international dance at the Bolshoi Theater during the Moscow Ballet Festival. She soon developed a dual interest in both performing and fitness and began studying Pilates Technique with Kathy Grant. Grant is regarded as one of two “grand dames” in the technique, and was personally taught and certified by technique founder and fitness innovator Joseph H. Pilates.

Striving to maintain her competitive edge while increasing her knowledge in the field of fitness Sarita began training with the inventor of the Gyrotonic Expansion System Julio Horvath. Her approach of incorporating both the physical and the mental development of the individual has made her a teacher in demand worldwide. Most notably is a guest teacher/instructor for the top academics in Tokyo, Japan in 2000 as a part of their fitness training and education.

Additional international credits include the University of Salvador in Brazil (2002), where she taught both Dance and Pilates, as a part of the International Dance Festival in Bahia. An eight-month residency in 2006 at Planet Health Club Istanbul, Turkey’s most venerable fitness facility, and instructor for the continuing education of fitness trainers working at the Four Season’s Hotel and Resort in Maui (2007- 2011). In the United States she has taught master classes and extensive fitness workshops at UCLA, Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, Dean College, Spellman College.

In 2009 was a visual consultant on two Mari Winsor’s video productions; the Pilates for Pink Video (which was Produced by Shape Magazine with the profits of the video going for Breast Cancer Research), and the new product Core Reformer produced by Gaim. Other high profile media work from 2010 to 2013 includes training models that have appeared on the iconic televised Victoria Secret’s Fashion Show, and in the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Edition. In 2012 Sarita was invited to teach a Muscle Release Workshop at the In Balance Studio in Sag Harbour. In 2004 she received an award for her contribution to the international dance at the Bolshoi Theater during the Moscow Ballet Festival.

She has had the distinction of choreographing Elton John’s Aida for three touring companies North American (2008), Bejiing and Shanghai (2010), and Taiwan (2012). Her continuing association with Complexions Contemporary Ballet has evolved from performer to teacher and she is currently Artistic Advisor. She has taught Pilates at the company’s summer intensive program for the last five years including a residency at Wayne State University (2011) and in 2013 will be on both the faculty the Joffrey Ballet and Complexions summer intensive programs. Currently she is a faculty member at Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, A member of the wellness teams at DLFit Pilates Wellness Studio and HBO Fitness Center- now in its tenth year.

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