Growing up in Alpharetta, Pritchett and her parents would attend Alvin Ailey performances at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta each year.
“I was so moved by the dancers and their passion and their spirit,” she said. “It was so exciting for me to see other dancers who I could relate to being a person of color and not seeing many dancers around me … that looked like me. I really looked up to them.”
Now Pritchett, a junior, gets to walk past her dance idols going to and from classes every day.
Her involvement with dancing started at age 4. Pritchett trained at North Atlanta Dance Academy in Johns Creek from age 7 all the way through high school.
She also performed with a pre-professional music theater company and started at the College of Charleston in South Carolina before transferring to The Ailey School.
In addition to a major in dance, Pritchett takes pre-med courses at Fordham University.
“I love it,” she said. “With such a rigorous schedule, dancing seven or eight hours a day and then tons of studying on top of that, … it can become a lot, but I just always keep reminding myself and my parents remind me also that it’s such a blessing to be here. These are hand-picked students from all over the world and for me to have made it here dancing at my dream school, I keep reminding myself … to be thankful for even being here.”
Pritchett said though she will miss the Alvin Ailey dance company’s Atlanta performance while away at school, her parents will continue along with the tradition.
Luckily, she has already seen the performance herself.
“Expect to be moved,” she advised to those who will attend the Atlanta shows.
“Expect to be taken to another place. It’s not just a performance; it’s a full experience.”
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will perform Feb. 13 to 16 at the Fox Theatre at 660 Peachtree St. in Atlanta.