Saturday’s Boston Globe ran an article on the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (they performed at the Citi Wang Theatre Thursday through Sunday last week.) Many may not have known that two Alvin Ailey dancers (Kirven Boyd and Belen Estrada) are graduates of Boston Arts Academy!

Co-headmaster Carmen Torres and I, along with Artistic Dean Fernadina Chan, dance department co-chair Sheryl Pollard-Thomas, and all 40 of our 9th and 10th grade dance majors, were in the audience on Thursday evening to watch Kirven and Belen perform a chillingly beautiful duet to “Wade in the Water.” Imagine the joy of seeing these two take center stage. (A huge thank you to Citi Performing Arts Center for donating more tickets for BAA students and faculty to Sunday’s performance!)

BAA Artistic Dean/dance department co-chair Fernadina Chan with Alvin Ailey dancers/BAA alums Belen Estrada and Kirven Boyd!

We sat in the audience with tears streaming down our faces as we watched our former students captivate hundreds of people. We remember their struggles. We remember their dreams. We remember when so many in Boston questioned the need for a high school for the arts. We continue to fight each day for adequate facilities to educate the next generations of Kirvens and Belens. But on Thursday night and Sunday afternoon we left our fights back at school and rejoiced in the accomplishments of our alumni.

We were so proud to have our young dancers there to know what they, too, can aspire.  Mostly, we celebrated the hard work, tenacity and brilliance of Kirven and Belen’s BAA teachers who pushed and pushed and never gave up on them.  For us, we were home. And home was a beautiful place.

Fernadina Chan, Belen Estrada, Sheryl Pollard-Thomas, Kirven Boyd, myself, and Carmen Torres