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Ailey School FAQs

NOTE:  FAQ's listed below that begin with the heading "COVID-19" pertain specifically to the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. FAQ's listed under all other categories pertain to procedures at The Ailey School prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and may not be applicable during the current school year.

Yes. Ailey’s app is Healthcheck. This is a separate app from the health screening app utilized by Fordham University (for BFA students) and separate from the health attestation kiosk (SPLAN) located at the Ludlow Residence (for students residing at Ludlow).

Healthcheck user instructions>
Healthcheck password reset>
Healthcheck FAQ's>

Students, staff, faculty, and musicians who are fully vaccinated and boosted* for COVID-19 do not need to submit a test prior to entering the building.

Those individuals who have been approved for a vaccine and/or booster exemption or accommodation must submit a negative COVID-19 nasal swab PCR Test no more than three (3) days prior to their first entry to the building, and on a weekly basis thereafter (as detailed in their exemption approval letter). Test results must be submitted to in order to receive clearance to enter the building

In addition, all students must utilize the HealthCheck app on a daily basis.

*Fully vaccinated and boosted is defined as having received 2 doses of a 2-dose vaccine plus one booster shot; or 1 dose of a single-dose vaccine plus one booster shot no less than 2 weeks prior to the first entry to the building, as described in the Vaccine Policy.

Students can get a free COVID-19 test throughout the five boroughs at one of the sites listed at the links below or by calling 1-844-NYC-4NYC or 1-212-Covid19.

Yes. Students are encouraged to bring their own mask that can be washed and re-used daily.  Ailey will also have enough disposable masks, gloves, face shields (upon special request), hand sanitizers, and wipes on hand for everyone in the building.

Please refer to Ailey Forward for the latest safety information.

Yes. For the safety of everyone in the building, all students, faculty, musicians, administrative staff, and company dancers are always required to wear a mask in the studios and in public areas of the building. 

Ailey recommends that everyone entering the building consult NY Forward and CDC to learn about cloth masks in order to make personal decisions regarding mask usage. However, Ailey does NOT recommend Gaitors, fleece, or bandanas. Fabric masks should be washed at home frequently.

Yes, students must take their temperature every morning prior to logging into the Healthcheck app. All students are required to have a digital thermometer.

Please refer to Ailey Forward for the latest safety information.

Yes.  You will be required to take your no contact temperature prior to proceeding into the building. If you register a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, you will not be permitted to proceed into the building.

Ailey is following all Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Dance USA guidelines on cleaning and air flow. Details can be found in Ailey Forward. In brief, Ailey will clean all studios with electrostatic sprayers, use CDC approved cleaning supplies, and maximize airflow and air filters (Merv 13 and higher) in the HVAC system. Bathrooms are fully hands-free including toilet seat activated flushing devices.

Yes. Students will be training a minimum of 6 feet apart from one another.

We suggest you make a check-list to be certain you have covered some essential things, such as:

  • Make sure you have a digital thermometer to monitor your temperature daily.
  • Contact your primary care physician to see if they provide telehealth services.
  • Make sure your health insurance is up to date, valid for the full duration of the  school year, and is valid in New York State.
  • Have enough CDC-recommended face masks for when circulating in crowded environments in New York, such as the the subway, in theaters, or anywhere else you wish to have extra protection.
  • Have a supply of small bottles of hand sanitizer you can carry with you daily.
  • Bring a basic First Aid Kit with you (ie: pain reliever/fever reducer, a supply of any personal medications you are prescribed to take by a physician, etc.). 
  • Make sure your Emergency Contact person is listed in your cell phone under I.C.E. (In Case of Emergency)
  • Make sure The Ailey School has your current telephone number and email on file, as well as that of your emergency contact person.

Yes, we encourage all dancers, students, faculty, musicians and staff to receive their annual flu shots.

Consult your medical provider, NY Forward, and NYC Health Department.

No. New York Forward states the following:

The travel guidelines require all New Yorkers, as well as those visiting from out-of-state or another country, to take personal responsibility for compliance in the best interest of public health and safety.

Asymptomatic travelers entering New York from another country, U.S. state, or territory are no longer required to test or quarantine as of April 10, 2021. Quarantine, consistent with the CDC recommendations, is still recommended for all travelers who are not fully vaccinated or have not recovered from laboratory confirmed COVID-19 during the previous 3 months. Symptomatic travelers must immediately self-isolate and contact the local health department or their healthcare providers to determine if they should seek COVID-19 testing.

All travelers entering New York from a state that is not a contiguous state who have been outside of New York for more than 24 hours must complete the Traveler Health Form. Contiguous states to New York are Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont.

Contact tracing methods are in place to track the spread of infection through the HealthCheck app.  If a student shows symptoms of, or tests positive for COVID-19, the students and instructors in a cohort of fully vaccinated students will not be asked to quarantine.  Students in a cohort of both vaccinated and unvaccinated students will be asked to quarantine, and self-monitor as guided by the CDC and Government regulations.

In the event that a cohort needs to quarantine, in-person instruction will be terminated, and classes will continue virtually.

Strict safety protocols will be in place throughout the 2021-2022 school year. Please see the Health & Safety category of FAQ's and refer to Ailey Forward for a detailed outline.

Because of social distancing requirements, there will be12 students to each cohort. Cohorts will be assigned to one studio each day where they will remain for all three of their daily classes. Intermingling with other cohorts will not be permitted during the school day. Faculty and musicians will change out in between techniques for each for each cohort.

The number of weekly dance classes varies according to the program:

Scholarship Program students take 12 to 15 classes per week.
Certificate Program Students take 15 to 17 classes per week.
Independent Study Program students take 15 classes per week.
BFA Program students take 12 to 15 classes per week, in addition to their academic classes scheduled at Fordham University.

Classes take place Monday - Friday. Each class is 1 hour and 20 minutes long and will be scheduled back-to-back in most cases.

Students will take a daily ballet class, supplemented by Horton technique, Graham-based modern, and an elective class. Certificate students will also have one to two dance academic classes each week, as well as the Ailey Student Performance Group repertory workshop in their senior year.  

Once a student schedule is made and cohorts finalized, changes are not permitted. If a faculty feels a student needs to move to a different level, they may request a change with The Ailey School Co-Directors.

As of this writing, live performances in the Ailey Citigroup Theater are not yet planned. The Ailey School is awaiting further guidance from the Governor's office about live performances and theater audiences being able to gather. Virtual performances may be scheduled to replace live performances.

All faculty advisors and staff members are reachable by email. Students may email to request an appointment, which will take place virtually.

As of this writing, there are no on-campus work opportunities due to restrictions on how many people may occupy the administrative offices.

Unfortunately, on-campus employment is not available for the 2021-2022 school year. International students must document that they have sufficient funding prior to entering the U.S. and should be financially solvent throughout their enrollment.

Yes, the dress code can be found in the Student Handbook.

Dressing rooms and lockers rooms are closed for the school year. Students must arrive at school 'under-dressed' with their dance clothes underneath their street clothes. Students are strictly forbidden to change clothes in the bathrooms.


Due to social distancing requirements and safety precautions, the student lounge and other common areas will not be available for the school year. 

Junior Division will be offering a schedule of classes for students in First Steps & Bounding Boys and Levels I-VII. All classes will be offered in person.

Due to limited staffing resources and the necessity for modified use of conditioning and learning spaces at the Joan Weil Center for Dance, it has been determined that Junior Division will have the capacity to offer programming suitable for and limited to older students in Levels III-VII for this academic year.

We thank you for your interest in training at The Ailey School. Please reference the Audition Calendar for updates. Inquiries may be directed to

The Ailey School Bursar has contacted all families with remaining credits on their accounts. If your questions are not addressed by that email, contact the Bursar directly at for more information.

Under the Ailey umbrella of educational programming is another resource available for your consideration: The Ailey Extension Program. The Ailey Extension offers a variety of classes for Kids and has no audition requirement. For more information, please visit

Health & Safety Questions:
Please cc:

Questions and information about the program:

Registration assistance:

Payment questions:

The Ailey School Virtual Horton Technique Workshop is an online workshop focusing on the Horton Technique. The syllabus for this workshop will focus on the essentials of The Ailey School Horton Technique, including the fundamental preludes, studies and fortifications as structured in level 1 Horton classes at The Ailey School.

Yes, all Professional Division students ages 17 to 25 may enroll.

No, Scholarships are not available.

No, as the Virtual Horton Workshop is not part of our full-time accredited curriculum, Federal Financial Aid is not applicable.

All of the Virtual Horton Workshop classes will be pre-recorded so students can view the recording within a 36-hour time frame.

No, as credit will not be awarded for the Virtual Horton Workshop, grades and/or evaluations will not be given.

No, we cannot provide a certificate.

No, an F-1 visa is only for those students who are attending a full-time, Professional Division training program in-person at The Ailey School. 

No, housing at the Ludlow Residence is only for students who are enrolled in one of our full-time, in-person training programs or the in-person 2021 Summer Intensive. Students who currently reside at Ludlow must vacate unless they are enrolled in the in-person Summer Intensive.

The Ailey/Fordham BFA Program requires the standard college application for Fordham University and the BFA Dance Application for The Ailey School. Please ensure you include all supplementary materials required for each application as listed. Fordham University requires an application fee; The Ailey School does not. If you are invited to audition, there is a small audition fee required at that time.

Both the Dance Application and the Fordham Application are due on November 1.

Fordham University and The Ailey School are two separate institutions and therefore have different application requirements. The decision for acceptance into the BFA program requires that a student be mutually accepted to both institutions. The separate applications allow each school to evaluate the student respectively.

Fordham University requires both the FAFSA (Federal Application for Financial Student Aid) and the CSS Profile. Both applications can be completed online. If you have more questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office at Fordham University by calling 212-636-6700.

No. Because the program syllabus is based on a full year, transfer admission is granted for the fall term only.

No. The Ailey School will hold placement classes for all new students, after which those with little to no experience with either modern technique will be placed in level one for both.

The same artistic panel adjudicates each audition and the same audition material is given in each city, which allows for a fair audition process for all students. If you are interested in viewing the facilities of The Ailey School and Fordham University, this can be done once you are accepted by scheduling a visit. Additionally, Fordham University holds an open house for accepted students in April where you will have the opportunity to meet current BFA students and faculty. Please make arrangements to visit in advance.

The maximum length is three (3) minutes, but it should not be less than two (2) minutes.  Your solo should be professionally choreographed by a teacher or choreographer. 

You will be informed by Fordham University, not The Ailey School, in mid-March.

The number of students accepted in a given year is determined by the total program enrollment. The typical class size does not exceed 35 students.

The Ailey School will choose students who are exceptional dancers just as Fordham University will choose students who excel academically, with no emphasis placed on the applicant’s gender.

After taking placement classes, all students receive a customized dance schedule that reflects their previous training. A student’s schedule might consist of a dance class at Ailey in the morning, an academic class at Fordham, a lunch break, and then one or two more dance classes. There are no dance classes or rehearsals on Saturday or Sunday.

All BFA students will take classes only at Lincoln Center campus.

All BFA students will live at the Lincoln Center campus if they have chosen to live in the dorm. Fordham has two dormitories that students can live in: McKeon Hall, which is dorm-like rooms for first-year students, and McMahon Hall, which is suite-like housing for upperclassmen. If a student accepts housing as a freshman, they are guaranteed housing throughout their four years, as long as they remain in the dorm. Students may live off campus if they wish but it is very difficult to move back into the dorm once they have moved out.

All dance technique courses are taken at The Ailey School, along with a few dance academic courses such as Anatomy & Kinesiology and Performance and Art. All academic courses are taken at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus, along with a few dance academic courses such as Music for Dancers and Dance History.

The freshmen and sophomores participate in workshops which result in performances in the fall and spring. The juniors take a Repertory Workshop that culminates in studio showings and performances. In the senior year, students will participate in Ailey/Fordham Student Dancers (AFSD) and perform numerous times in the tri-state area. Various student-run concerts and private engagements offer students more opportunities to perform as well.

No. After the November 1st deadline, the Director of the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program reviews the application and invites students to the audition. Notification of whether or not a student is granted an audition will be sent via email by December 1st.

No. A video is only required for international students invited to audition for the BFA program.

No. Letters of recommendation are not required for the dance application. However, Fordham University does require letters of recommendation for the common application.

No. The audition dates listed on The Ailey School website are strictly for the Summer Intensive, Certificate, Independent Study, and Scholarship programs. BFA auditions are separate and are not publicized on the website as they are invitation-only auditions.

Prospective students for the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program have two tour options. Fordham University holds tours on the Lincoln Center campus that explore the dorms and campus life. These tours are open to prospective students regardless of their area of study. To schedule a tour at Fordham University, please visit the Undergraduate Admission website.

The Ailey School offers an Ailey/Fordham BFA Program tour specific to the day-to-day experiences as a BFA student. The tour explores The Ailey School facilities only and lasts about 45 minutes. To schedule an Ailey/Fordham BFA Program tour, please email at least 2 weeks prior to your visit. The tours are led my current BFA students and scheduling is dependent on the students' availability. 

Unfortunately, drop-in tours are not available. If you wish to speak to a BFA program representative, please email prior to arriving to The Ailey School.

At this time, due to class capacities, prospective students are unable to take class. However, you are welcome to arrange a class observation by emailing at least 2 weeks prior to your visit.

At this time, we do not offer a minor.

Yes. Depending on the area of study, many students pursue an additional major or minor. Some of the most popular choices are: African American Studies, Economics, English, and Visual Arts.

Students who wish to apply for acceptance to the full-time Professional Division Programs or the Summer Intensive may audition in person or by submitting a video audition.  Students must follow the instructions detailed on the Auditions page.
Students who wish to apply to the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program should refer to the Admissions section of the BFA Program page.

An in-person audition is required of all students who wish to be considered for acceptance to the Certificate Program or Scholarship Program, with the exception of international students who are applying from abroad.

There is a $20 audition fee for all Scholarship Program,Certificate Program, Independent Study Program, and Summer Program auditions. You can sign up for the audition and pay the fee by following the links on the Auditions page of the web site.
Note: There is a $35 application fee for BFA applicants, and an audition fee for those applicants who are invited to attend an audition.

You must fill out an online application, pay an audition fee, and upload your audition video by following the instructions on our Auditions page. 

There is a $20 fee for all applicants who wish to audition by video. You may pay the fee online at the links provided on the program pages.

No, we do not schedule private or in-class auditions.

Students may audition once per calendar year. If you are not accepted at your first audition, you must wait until the following year to try again.

Notification of acceptance will be sent by e-mail within three weeks of an audition.

No. The Ailey School does not provide performance critiques or discuss the artistic panel’s decision after an audition.

Students may take both Horton and Graham-based modern even if they have no prior training in those techniques. However, in some cases Faculty Advisors may feel it is more beneficial for a student to concentrate on one technique only. This is decided on a case by case basis between Faculty Advisor and student.

Each student at The Ailey School is placed in levels according to their individual proficiency in ballet, Horton, and Graham-based modern. Levels are determined at the audition or by the department chairpersons during placement classes at the beginning of the students first term of study. Students are advised that levels at The Ailey School may not correspond to the levels at their prior schools. The Ailey School has 7 levels of ballet, 4 levels of Horton, and 4 levels of Graham-based modern. Pointe, Partnering, and Men’s Ballet are offered to students in ballet IV or higher. Students are placed jazz levels according to their ballet levels.

Yes. The Ailey School has limited housing during the academic year at The Ludlow Residence dormitory in lower Manhattan. Housing at The Ludlow Residence is partially subsidized and granted to students based on their financial need and artistic merit.

Yes. The Ailey School offers housing at the nearby Fordham University dormitory for students 15 years and older, and at the Ludlow Residence for students who are 17 year of age and older. Students must be enrolled in the Summer Intensive to be eligible for summer housing.

Auditions for Ailey II are by invitation only.  Students from the school's full-time training programs are invited to audition for Ailey II by The Ailey School Co-Directors and the Ailey II Artistic Director.

Only advanced students who are on Threshold or in their last year of study and are preparing to enter the dance field may request permission from The Ailey School Co-Directors to perform outside of the School.

Yes. A limited number of merit-based scholarships are available to students who meet the artistic criteria for acceptance to the Scholarship Program. Scholarships are awarded on an annual basis during the academic year and summer term by audition only. Merit-based scholarships are not available to students in the Independent Study Program or Certificate Program, although those students may apply for need-based Federal Financial Aid.  

International students must successfully complete the program in which they are enrolled in order to be eligible for Post -Completion Practical Training: three years in the Certificate Program; one year in the Independent Study Program; and one year in the Scholarship Program. Students who wish to apply for OPT must first have a final evaluation meeting with their Faculty Advisor at the end of their last semester of study to determine if all program requirements have been successfully met.   Once it has been confirmed that all program requirements have been met and that there have been no excessive absences, the student may meet with the International Student Advisor to request OPT.  Note: The Ailey School Co-Director has final approval of a student's request to apply for OPT.

Yes. Professional Division students who are enrolled in any of the full time programs may attend Ailey Extension classes at a discounted student rate on weekends only.  Students may not attend Ailey Extension classes Monday through Friday.

No. Students are not allowed to take any Professional Division classes other than the classes that have been assigned to them by their Faculty Advisor.

Junior Division may NOT participate in professional level classes, regardless of their years of training or proficiency.

Student may only attend classes for which they are registered. We do not offer make up classes.

Yes. Junior Division Students must attend all of the classes scheduled for their level.

Tuition fees are based on the level and program in which the student is placed. Please visit Tuition and Fees for details.

Some school year discounts are available if certain eligibility requirements are met during enrollment. For example, a 10% discount applies when tuition is paid in full in ONE installment by the deadline. Review enrollment materials for more details.

The option to request Tuition Assistance is available to continuing students who were enrolled in the previous year and will be enrolling in Level III or higher, can be requested prior to the start of each semester. Awarded Tuition Assistance amounts apply to accounts after the standard minimum enrollment payment is received. Instructions on how to apply are provided during re-enrollment.

Students ages 15-17 are considered for scholarship during their audition.

In lieu of traditional academic Report Cards, faculty submit written feedback twice per year to provide a general overview of your child’s progress in class. 

Students are not allowed to sample a class. Anyone participating in Junior Division classes must be enrolled in the Junior Division program.

No, students must participate in the full curriculum of classes assigned to their level. There are no open classes available in the Junior Division.

Hip Hop is not a part of our curriculum. Students interested in Hip Hop classes should contact the Ailey Extension for information on their Teen Extension Hip Hop classes.

Enrollment for the First Steps/Bounding Boys program takes place annually in late July. Enrollment takes place online and is on a first-come/first-served basis and tends to fill quickly.  
If you are interested in being placed on a waiting list at any time of the year other than the July enrollment period, please email providing the following information and a packet will be mailed to you:

  • Parent's name
  • Student's/child's name
  • Student's/child's date of birth
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number
  • Email address

Level placement has been determined based on several factors including, but not limited to, proficiency in ballet and modern, instructor recommendations, and panel observation. Previous evaluations and attendance records were also reviewed to determine level placement.

If your child is going to miss class, please fill out the Absence Notification.

Parents should contact the following assigned Parent Liaisons:

Evaluations tend to differ from class to class due to the energy level or the focus of the class. For example, a student’s energy level from Ballet to West African is different. It also depends on the energy of the class.

If your child received a mark in that area the instructor most likely commented on how they could progress at the bottom of the Feedback Form. Encourage your child and let them know they can improve in those areas; encourage them to stretch at home. Many instructors provided students with exercises throughout the school year. Have them speak with the teacher to receive further explanation or exercises in which they can improve. If you still need further clarification, please contact your parent liaison.

Unfortunately, because of the short duration of the intensive, it is not possible to attend fewer than two weeks.

During the 2021 Summer Intensive: Students take 2 classes per day: a daily ballet class, and a daily Horton or Graham-based modern class.

During previous 6-week Summer Intensives (not applicable in 2021): Professional Division students attend a minimum of 12 to a maximum of 15 classes per week, which may include a repertory or elective workshop. Classes take place Monday through Friday. A typical schedule includes a daily ballet class, a daily Horton technique and/or Graham-based modern technique, and 5 additional elective classes and/or workshop.

We are complying with COVID-19 safety precautions and are keeping class sizes in each cohort under 25 - 30 students. Classes of this size will also allow faculty to have better interaction and make more focused evaluations of students work.

Please refer to Ailey Forward for the latest safety information.

During the 2021 Summer Intensive: Students have been placed in the appropriate technique levels by The Ailey School Co-Director, based on their video audition.

During previous 6-week Summer Intensives (not applicable in 2021): Professional Division students will receive a Class Selection Form after they have made a $300 deposit to the program. They must indicate their preferred modern technique (Horton or Graham-based modern) and their preferred choice of elective classes and/or workshops.* Students must return this form by mail or e-mail to The Ailey School Admissions Office.  Based on the technique levels students have been placed in, and their choices of elective classes/workshops, Ailey School Faculty Advisors will create a schedule of 12 to 15** classes for each student. Students who have met the minimum level requirements to audition for repertory workshops will have the opportunity to audition on the first day of the summer program. If chosen for a repertory workshop, the students schedule will be adjusted to accommodate that workshop.


*Due to studio space limits, there are a maximum number of students enrolled in each class/technique. Therefore, students should keep in mind that they may not get their first choice of technique or elective classes.


** The maximum number of classes/workshops students may be scheduled for is 15. There are no exceptions to this rule

Professional Division Students schedules will be emailed after all tuition and fees have been paid in full and all the required enrollment materials have been received by the Admissions Officer. Only those students who have completed this process will be allowed to start class. Those who have outstanding balances or missing enrollment materials will have to settle their accounts on the first day or Orientation.

There are no schedule changes. If a teacher determines that a student should be placed in a different level after the first week of classes, only the teacher can make that recommendation. Students may not request changes in the classes they have chosen or the levels they have been placed in.

Students wishing to receive evaluations or college credit must provide a letter from their current college or university on official stationary to The Ailey School Registrar, prior to the summer program.  Letters must be received in sealed envelopes no later than June 15. Only those students who provide a letter may receive credit. Requests for credit will not be considered otherwise. Please note: it is up to the student’s college or university to determine how many credits, if any, will be accepted. The Ailey School does not determine which credits are transferrable.

Professional Division Students are permitted to wear colorful form fitting dance attire of their choice while adhering to the guidelines listed in the Summer Intensive Student Handbook. 

No, students will receive and must register for a pre-assigned schedule of 15 classes per week.

Students must commit to training for the duration of the Junior Division Summer Intensive Program. We do not allow partial participation or late arrival to the program.

Students have 3 classes per day Monday through Friday.

Students have 3 classes per day Monday through Friday.

All students who have auditioned in person or by video audition have been placed in the appropriate levels by the audition panel.   

No. Make-up classes are not offered.

Admission is by submission of an online application and audition in-person, or by video. Please refer to the video audition guidelines for specifications on video requirements.

Yes. Students may be selected to receive a merit-based scholarship to the Junior Division Summer Intensive Program. Scholarship awards are applied to tuition only.

No, students will receive and must register for a pre-assigned schedule of 15 classes per week.

Yes, a virtual presentation will take place at the end of the session! Students will have an opportunity to present what they have learned in virtual studio showings.

No, there is currently not an option to train virtually for the Junior Division Summer Intensive Program.

Students enrolled in the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program may be housed at Fordham University’s McMahon Hall.

Students in the Certificate Program, Independent Study Program, and Scholarship Program may apply for limited subsidized housing at the Ludlow Residence.

Please contact the Admissions Office at for information on the Ludlow Residence.

The Ludlow Residence is available for students 18 and older. Please contact the Admissions Office at for information on the Ludlow Residence.

Fordham University’s McMahon Hall is available for all students 14 to 17. Professional Division students that are attending the program for weeks ONLY can also reside at McMahon Hall. A chaperone program is available for 14 and 15 year old students. Students must be 14 by April 1 to be eligible for housing at McMahon Hall. Please contact the Summer Housing Coordinator at or 212-405-9138 for information on McMahon Hal

No. Housing is reserved on a first come, first served basis, until all beds have been assigned. Housing deposits will only be accepted from students who have already made a tuition deposit to confirm their attendance in the summer program.  

During the school year, accepted students may apply for subsidized housing at the Ludlow Residence. Subsidized housing may be awarded to students with demonstrated financial need, on a limited basis. Please email for a Ludlow Housing Application Packet

Limited need-based financial assistance for summer housing is available by application . Only those students who have made a tuition deposit to the Summer Intensive may apply for housing assistance.  In addition, we happily accept payments from your local, third-party supporters. You are also welcome to make small, incremental payments as long as the total housing cost is received ON or BEFORE the final payment deadline.  

 No. Although it is highly recommended, housing in the dormitories is optional. You may request a list of alternate housing options by emailing

McMahon Hall is located a 5 minute walk from the Ailey School at 155 West 60th Street (between 9th and 10th Aves), New York, NY 10023. There is no need for public transportation between the dormitory and the school, as students can easily walk to and from both locations.    

101 Ludlow Street is a 30 minute commute by public transportation. There are several convenient subway lines that travel to and from The Ailey School. The cost of commuting is the responsibility of the residents. A monthly Metrocard is NOT included in the cost of housing.

McMahon Hall is a 20-story building with elevator service that offers apartment-style housing with a 24-hour security guard.  Each air-conditioned, apartment-style suite is composed of a common room, a kitchen, a bathroom, and either 2 or 3 bedrooms that can accommodate 2 to 3 students per bedroom. There are 4 to 8 students per suite.  Apartments come with basic dorm-style furnishings. Kitchens are equipped with refrigerators, electric stove-top oven, and sink.  
Rooms are NOT equipped with; Televisions, microwaves, dishwashers, cooking ware, dishware, bedding, towels, toilet paper or cleaning supplies.    A complete list of furnishings is included in the Housing Application packet, as well as a list of what household and comfort items to bring.

The Ludlow Residence hall is comprised of single rooms with a shared bathroom, and double rooms with a shared bathroom. The facility is full air-conditioned. Each room has a small refrigerator and a microwave. There is a large outdoor patio, a large recreation room in the basement with a large screen TV, a lounge area, and a common kitchen which is available for student use.  Free laundry facilities are located in the basement.

Although a meal plan is not available during the summer, Fordham University has a cafeteria that is open from 8:30AM to 3:30PM, Monday to Friday. The Cafeteria offers prepared foods and hot meals for purchase.  The cafeteria is closed during the weekends and all Fridays after the 4th of July.  Cash and debit/credit cards are acceptable forms of payment in the cafeteria.   
Additionally, The Ailey Boutique located on the ground floor of The Ailey School offers lunch items and healthy snack options during the weekdays. There are several diverse local eateries and grocery stores within walking distance of McMahon Hall and The Ailey School, many of which provide delivery service to the dormitory.  
As a reminder, the suites at McMahon hall are equipped with basic functioning kitchens for those students who wish to prepare their own meals.

Resident Assistants and Chaperones who are employed exclusively for the Ailey Summer Intensive Students live in the dormitory and provide a congenial and supportive environment for residents.

Chaperones and RA’s go through a thorough interview, background checks, and training process. Resident Assistants are available for all Professional Division students residing at the dormitory and Chaperones are responsible for all Junior Division students residing in the dormitory.  Activities are planned throughout the summer for chaperoned students and are led by Resident Assistants and Chaperones.  Non-chaperoned students are also welcome to participate in planned activities. However, those students will not be monitored by or accountable to the Chaperones.

McMahon Hall: There are curfews depending on a students’ age. There is no set curfew for Professional Division students 18 years old or older.

Curfews and room checks are in effect for Summer Intensive students as follows: Junior Division students must be in their apartments by:

  • 10pm Sunday-Thursday
  • 11pm Friday-Saturday

Professional Division students ages 16-17 must be in their apartments by:

  • 11pm Sunday-Thursday
  • 12am Friday-Saturday

The Ludlow Residence: As this is a facility for adult students there is no curfew at The Ludlow Residence for any residents. There is a dedicated Ailey Resident Assistant, and a Residence Hall Director who resides on the premises.

McMahon Hall: Absolutely NO guests are permitted. Parents will be allowed to assist their sons/daughters in the dormitory during assigned Move-In and Move-Out days ONLY. Parents will not be allowed upstairs into the dormitory at any other times during the Summer Intensive Program. During the summer months, McMahon Hall houses Fordham University students and other summer guests in addition to Ailey School students. Therefore, in order to respect the privacy of the Non-Ailey residents we ask that families socialize outside of the dormitory when visiting.

Summer Intensive students who do not reside in McMahon Hall are strictly prohibited from visiting fellow students who do reside at the dormitory.

The Ludlow Residence: There is a guest policy* at The Ludlow Residence and students are required to abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the on-site Ludlow Residence Hall Director. A detailed handbook will be provided for residents upon confirmation of their housing reservation.

*Guest policies may be more prohibitive due to COVID-19 protocols.

Free internet is available at McMahon Hall and at the Ludlow Residence.

No. Students are expected to maintain a neat, clean and orderly room at all times and to show respect and courtesy to their fellow cohabitants by doing so. Students must provide their own cleaning supplies, and other housekeeping items. Upon vacancy, rooms should be left in the clean condition in which they were found. Any damage or additional cleaning fees will be assessed to those students occupying the room/suite.

McMahon Hall: Washing machines and dryers are located on the 2nd, 10th and 16th floors of the dormitory for student use at no additional cost. However, students must provide their own laundry detergent.

Ludlow Residence: A large laundry room is located in the basement where students may do their laundry for free.

McMahon Hall: Students may receive mail AFTER they have moved in to the dormitory. No mail will be accepted prior to move-in or after move-out dates. Students will be assigned a mailbox and will receive a mailbox code upon Move-In. Students must present their Guest Identification card to the Mailroom staff during business hours in order to retrieve their package. Mailroom hours are 9am-5pm, Monday-Thursday and 9am-1pm on Friday and are subject to change. Fordham University does not accept responsibility for the transportation of students’ belongings. Students can only send letters with the appropriate postage from the University’s mailroom. There is a US Postal Office located at 27 West 60th Street, NY, NY 10023 from which students can mail packages home.

The Ludlow Residence: Mailboxes are assigned to students who reside at Ludlow during the academic year. Small packages and mail may be sent to students who reside at Ludlow during the summer and will be received by Security.

As a courtesy to international students who do not live within traveling distance of an audition site, The Ailey School will accept video auditions. Applicants should follow the guidelines found on the Auditions page.

International students apply to the BFA Program should visit BFA Admissions, as there is a different admissions process for this program.

Because we receive so many requests for private and in-class auditions, unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate special requests. Students who are unable to attend an audition on our annual audition tour may audition by video. 

All students who submit a video audition will be considered for the Scholarship Program, Certificate Program, Independent Study Program. However, if at all possible, we recommend that students attend an audition in person if they wish to obtain a scholarship. 

Subject to the availability of the School Co-Directors, The Ailey School may sometimes hold auditions in Canada and Europe. Please email to inquire about the audition schedule. 

Yes, all international students must obtain an F-1 Student Visa in order to study full-time in the United States. Note: Canadian nationals do not need to obtain a visa stamp in their passports, but they still need to obtain F-1 student status by applying for the required I-20 form from The Ailey School.

In order to obtain F-1 Status, students must document to The Ailey School that they have sufficient financial resources to cover their living expenses and tuition & fees for the first year of study. (Please refer to the document in the sidebar entitled "I-20 Application Instructions").  Once the documentation has been submitted to the Admissions Office, the Director of Admissions will issue an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Non-Immigrant Student Status and instructions on how to proceed.  The Ailey School will assist students with this process from beginning to end. It is not possible to apply for a student visa without first submitting the required documentation to The Ailey School

The entire process of applying for F-1 status can take as long as three months, depending on the country and city in which the consulate is located. This includes the time it takes to gather your financial documentation and submit it to The Ailey School for review, and the waiting time for The Ailey School to issue an I-20 form.  In addition, in some countries there is a long wait for appointments at the U.S. consulate for a visa interview.  Since Canadians do not need to make an appointment at the consulate, the process usually takes less time for Canadian nationals.

Note: The following answer to this question does not apply to the 2021-2022 school year. Due to the COVID pandemic, the Scholarship audition will not take place at The Ailey School.

Students who wait until the July audition may not have enough time to make all the necessary preparations for obtaining a student visa and finding housing in time for September. Therefore, you must submit the required documentation for your student visa NO LATER THAN JUNE 1 (before you attend the July audition).  

It is also strongly recommended that you begin your search for off-campus housing prior to the audition because housing at The Ludlow Residence is usually fully occupied by July. 

No, it is not possible to attend The Ailey School part-time. It is mandatory for all international students on an F-1 visa to attend school on a full-time basis.  

Unfortunately, The Ailey School does not offer need-based financial assistance to international students who wish to defray the cost of attendance.  Additionally, U.S. Federal Financial Aid is only available to U.S. Citizens and Permanent Resident Aliens (Green Card holders).  International Students may audition for the Scholarship Program if they wish to obtain merit-based financial assistance.

There are several reasons why an international student might have trouble making an online payment. Some international credit cards have daily limits on the amounts that can be charged. Students should contact their bank to inform them that they will be making an international payment in a large amount.

Other reasons for difficulty with international payments are credit card security code discrepancies between the U.S. and other countries. Students who have trouble with online payments can contact the Bursar at 212-405-9512 to make a payment by telephone after the required enrollment materials have been submitted.

It is highly advisable to open a U.S. bank account while studying at The Ailey School. Having an account at a local U.S. bank makes it much easier to have access to your funds for living expenses, tuition payments, emergencies, and other necessities. We recommend setting up a bank to bank transfer with the bank in your country of origin so that you can always have funds at your disposal. The International Student Advisor can assist you with opening a local bank account.

Yes, the USCIS allows students to travel outside of the U.S. during their enrollment at The Ailey School. However, because F-1 regulations are always being amended and changed, students are advised to meet with the International Student Advisor prior to making any travel plans.

Students must obtain an additional signature from the International Student Advisor on the second page of their I-20 at least once a year in order to travel outside of the U.S. Travel within the U.S. is allowed and does not require a passport, nor do students need to carry their I-20 when traveling from state to state.

Only those students who are engaging in authorized employment (on-campus employment or OPT) can obtain a U.S. Social Security number. The International Student Advisor can assist students who are authorized to work with obtaining a social security number.

International students are not allowed to work off-campus during their first year of enrollment. After attending for one academic year, there are several options for employment, although they are limited and restricted to specific guidelines.
On-Campus Employment: The Ailey School has limited on-campus employment for students in their second and third year of study. Students must speak with the Director of Admissions if they are interested in being placed on a list for on-campus employment.

Optional Practical Training (OPT): OPT is a type of employment authorization that is available by submitting an application to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Students must have completed one academic year to be eligible for Part-Time OPT while they are still attending school. Students must successfully complete their program of study in order to be eligible to apply for full-time Post Completion OPT.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT): CPT is a type of employment that is an integral component of the program of study, such as the Ailey Student Performance Group (ASPG) of the Certificate Program.  

The Ailey School International Student Advisor discusses all employment options at the New Student Meeting during Orientation week. Students should also carefully read the International Student Handbook for more detailed descriptions of employment opportunities.  

International students must successfully complete the program in which they are enrolled in order to be eligible for Post -Completion Practical Training: three years in the Certificate Program; one year in the Independent Study Program; and one year in the Scholarship Program. Students who wish to apply for OPT must first have a final evaluation meeting with their Faculty Advisor at the end of their last semester of study to determine if all program requirements have been successfully met.   Once it has been confirmed that all program requirements have been met and that there have been no excessive absences, the student may meet with the International Student Advisor to request OPT.  Note: The Ailey School Co-Director has final approval of a student's request to apply for OPT.