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Celebrated Ailey dance educator Jefferson dies

Jefferson, a longtime director of the Ailey School, died in Manhattan, New York on Saturday (17Jul10) after losing her battle with ovarian cancer. She was 65.

Jefferson trained generations of world-class performers at the Ailey School, the official training academy for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

A member of the Ailey School faculty since 1974, she was served as its director from 1984 until her death.

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Alvin Ailey, the late dancer and choreographer who founded the company in 1958, is often credited with revolutionising African-American participation in concert dance in the 20th century and popularising modern dance.

Jefferson is survived by her mother, Irma Jefferson; her sister, Margo Jefferson; and a daughter, Francesca Harper.

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