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Lakey Evans-Peña


Lakey Evans-Peña received her undergraduate degree from the University of the Arts and, after receiving a full scholarship, continued her dance training at The Ailey School. She was invited to apprentice and dance with Ailey II under the direction of Sylvia Waters. During the national tours with Ailey II, she began teaching the Horton technique through the company's many lecture/demonstrations and outreach programming. She has performed in Donald Byrd’s The Harlem Nutcracker in three national tours, in his work Carmina Burana for the New York City Opera, and in the works of many dance artists, including: Ron Brown, Jacqulyn Buglisi, Milton Myers, Eleo Pomare, Hope Clarke, Kevin “Iega” Jeff and Vernard Gilmore. Lakey served as a group leader for NYC Ailey Camp and as a Teaching Artist for Ailey Art-in-Education & Community Programming beginning in 1999. She has served as a guest artist/artist in residence at Hollins University, NYU Tisch, Montclair State University, STEPS, Peridance, Ballet Hispanico, and the American Dance Festival where she restaged two of Alvin Ailey’s works, Isba and Escapades. She has been teaching Horton at The Ailey School for over two decades and has taught in the Junior Division, the Professional Performing Arts School (PPAS) program and the Professional Division. Lakey has also served as a teacher and adjudicator on the national audition tours for the Ailey/Fordham BFA program and the Ailey Summer Intensive for the last ten years. Her dance studio, the Williamsburg Movement & Arts Center opened in 2009, has shared dance with thousands of students in daytime residencies and after school programming. In 2013 she founded WMAAC Residencies 501c3 (now WRArts), a non for profit organization providing quality performing arts programming in the Williamsburg/Greenpoint area. Lakey served as the lead Teaching Artist for the AileyDance for Active Senior pilot program conducting two ten-week residencies in two NYC senior residential living sites. In 2019, Lakey assisted Ronni Favors, Rehearsal Director for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, in the staging of Mr. Ailey’s Memoria, performed by The Ailey School Professional Division students in concert with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for the 2019 City Center season. Currently finishing her MFA degree at Montclair State University, she is conducting research of Lester Horton’s life history and the development of his technique. For her recent thesis concert, she restaged and danced Horton’s 1948 duet, The Beloved, as well as choreographing three new works for the performance.