It’s Robert Battle’s second season as artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT). He says it has been an exciting role following in the footsteps of Judith Jamison, artistic director emerita.

Battle gave up his own dance company, named after himself, to oversee a legacy and a repertory filled with other’s creations – while incorporating a few of his own.

Sixteeen-year Alvin Ailey dance veteran Briana Reed recently tells HobNob Drive about her experience working for Battle, a fellow Florida native.

“The dance world is so small that many people know each other. We also attended Juilliard and he choreographed my senior project that I needed to graduate. It’s really interesting that I work for him. He’s great, fun, gregarious and easygoing. He’s always giving you something to work for without too much micromanaging. He allows you to make your own decisions.”

While AAADT is flourishing in its second season of new leadership, 31-year dance veteran Renee Robinson is planning retirement and making her final bow. Recruited by Ailey himself, Robinson’s leadership and fortitude will be missed.

Reed offers, “Mr. Ailey hired her when she was 18. She’s been like a mother to us. She passes many of the things she learned from Mr. Ailey on to us. She’s generous and someone to strive to be like instead of getting caught up in your talent.”

Click here for more information on the AAADT North American tour.