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Syracuse teen Tevin Johnson chosen for coveted NYC summer dance program

At age 17, this summer Syracuse resident Tevin Johnson is realizing one of his longtime ambitions.

A student at Manlius Pebble Hill School, where he will be a senior this fall, Johnson has won a coveted place in The Ailey School’s Summer Intensive Program in New York City.

The Ailey School is the official school of the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Its Summer Intensive Program offers motivated young students the opportunity to study dance in a professional environment.

Joanne Ruggeri, director of admissions at The Ailey School, says that each year, at least 1,200 students from across the country audition for the Summer Intensive Program and between 250 and 300 students attend.

Acceptance to the Summer Intensive Program is based on audition. Johnson first auditioned and was selected for last summer’s program, but the cost of tuition and housing in New York City kept him from attending.

Johnson is thrilled to have been accepted again this year and to be able to attend the Ailey dance program.

Johnson is also one of five Central New York students who have qualified to compete in the national Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO), which will be held in Orlando next month. ACT-SO is a program of the NAACP.

Johnson was among some 60 African American and Latino students who competed last March in a local ACT-SO competition.

He won the dance category and earned entry to the 2013 ACT-SO nationals. This is a repeat honor for the young dancer/choreographer. He participated in the national 2012 ACT-SO competition last July in Houston and was the first dancer from the Syracuse area to win.