A chance to dance

By CHARLES PEARL State Journal Staff Writer Published:

She auditioned for a performing arts school in Philadelphia but wasn't accepted. She applied to Howard University in Washington, D.C., but wasn't accepted.

Binta Ajabu came to Kentucky State University as a freshman from Indianapolis, and will soon be leaving. But her departure is not because she doesn't like KSU and Frankfort.

"I love it here," said Ajabu, 19, after Thursday's first two-hour ballet performance of "The Afrikan Aesthetic: The Influence of Afrika on Music and Dance in the Americas" by the Kentucky Repertory Dance Theatre. "And I won't ever forget Kentucky State University and my friends here. But I've got to go. It's my time."

Frankfort's Zoe Ellington Britton, the Kentucky Repertory Dance Theatre's artistic director in the Division of Fine Arts at KSU, understands.

"This is what it's all about, preparing students for a career in dance," Britton said.

Ajabu is moving this summer to Harlem in New York City to work with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, "the most famous black dance company in the United States," Britton said. "They tour all over the world."

When Ajabu arrived on the KSU campus, she had never heard of Britton or the dance theater. It was a wonderful surprise.

A dance workshop was held at KSU in January, in which some dancers from Alvin Ailey and the Lexington Ballet coached KSU students.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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