Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Reviews | Glassdoor

Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Reviews

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3.2
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Sharon Gersten Luckman
7 Ratings

14 Employee Reviews

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  1. "School Scheduling Administrator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Brooklyn, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Brooklyn, NY
    Recommends

    I worked at Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great health benefits, free dance classes, fun people to work with. Exposed to a wide range of dance artist and dance culture.

    Cons

    My particular position at the time should have been divided into two positions as it was a two person job.

    Advice to Management

    Get a better software program to manage the load of reservations that the entire business requests.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "The Company Could Care Less About Their Employees"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Free dance classes, mostly decent health insurance plan, 403B

    Cons

    Senior Management treats everyone beneath them like paper pushers. They could care less whether their employees live or die (and that's actually happened). Promotions from within are a joke and move VERY slowly. Not a lot of opportunity for employee growth or personal enrichment. They are extremely stingy with salary increases, but they are a non-profit organization. High employee turnover.

    Advice to Management

    When you find employees who are loyal and hard working, you should really do your best to keep them around.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "A Great Company to Work for in the Non-Profit Sector"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Excellent Healthcare Benefits
    Free Dance Classes and comp tickets to performances
    Flex Spending Acct & Commuter Benefits
    Creative Environment

    Cons

    Low pay (and most people only receive an annual 2% cost of living raise)
    No bonuses and not many extra perks (compared to a for-profit organization)
    Not allowed to take much time off during the holiday season due to Ailey's season at NY City Center

    Advice to Management

    When employees give their lives and put in long hours to work for an arts organization with a legacy, such as Ailey's, it's important to make them feel appreciated so that they will stick around. Yes, this is a non-profit organization, but everyone knows Ailey's annual budget (it's public knowledge!) so it would be great if Management would start matching that in pay. There is a huge salary gap between the director level and junior staff - not acceptable. Appreciate your employees by supporting us and back your words up with better compensation!


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Great Lower Level Staff - Stuffy Senior/Seasoned Staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great institution to be associated with.
    Free tickets to see the main company.
    Tons of opportunity to see these elite dancers.
    Unlimited free classes for full time staff.
    Clean, functioning and modern workspaces.
    Judith Jamison!!
    Great mid level staff - I connected with a lot of staff mainly because we all felt the same about the institution.

    Cons

    With the beautiful architecture and pleasant office spaces you often forget you work at a non-profit meaning the workload is very high. And with such high expectations and forecasting, mid and lower level staff break their backs to make these goals. Then again many wouldn't complain if they received a salary that reflected their supposedly 40 hour, but really 50+ work week.

    Cons severely overwhelm the pros. But I'm sure upper management may view it as the opposite way around.

    Advice to Management

    Don't place a barrier between you and your staff. A lower level employee should not have to feel awkward when around you nor feel forced to have an awkward conversation. Executive Director - please say hello to your staff.

    All Directors should have at least 5 years of experience in the office setting but Ailey may decide to hire some who are lacking in this forcing his or her staff to really pick up on the slack.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "A great place to grow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    If you love dance, this is the place to be. Though the admin floors can be somewhat sequestered from the dance studios, you're never more than one floor away from a studio. Staff are invited to take classes (for free!) and if dance isn't your thing, you can still feel the building move (very slightly) when larger classes begin. Most folks are very friendly, committed to their work, and eager to share and teach.

    Cons

    AADF is very focused on community, yet unfortunately there is no communal meeting place in the building for staff members in the cold months. Students taking the elevators from the first floor to the second can be a bit aggravating.

    Advice to Management

    Coffee should be free to staff!


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Exciting place, but they couldn't care less about their administrative staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    It's very cool to work for one of the biggest dance companies in the world, especially if you come from a dance background - and, depending on what department you work in, getting to stand backstage and watch the dancers perform. The overall tone of the company is full of creative and positive people. The School especially is a fantastic place to work - the spirit of camaraderie and the passion the teachers and directors have for their work is evident.

    Cons

    Sadly, the company does not care at all about their administrative staff. Their dancers, senior staff, artistic directors, and senior crew members are some of the best paid in the industry, and they go out of their way to keep those people there (even, in the case of some of the senior staff, to the detriment of the company). However, the entry-level and first-tier management jobs are criminally underpaid and overworked. Be prepared for 60-80 hour weeks on occasion (for my job, it was at least a third of the year, but less for other jobs), AND if you don't have a roommate/significant other to split bills with, you will most likely need a second job. The turnover rate among the staff is incredibly high because of this, so you will often need to do a second person's job (which you may or may not have any experience in) while they are trying to hire a new person.

    The senior staff expects you to be incredibly grateful to work there because of the international exposure and "coolness" factor of the company. They do not realize that it is the work of the junior staff that makes it possible for AAADT and A2 to be that kind of international success, year after year. Our work is on just as much of a top-tier level as theirs, and we deserve to be paid as such.

    Advice to Management

    Please realize that if you continue to pay your entry-level/junior staff barely livable wages but expect the productivity/knowledge of someone with many years of experience, you will continue to have 30-40% turnover in your staff year after year.


  7. "The Ailey School - great work atmosphere, passionate about dance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends

    Pros

    The School is a wonderful place to work. It is a fun, arts - oriented work culture. The management is respectful of and responsive to personal needs, and gives you plenty of opportunities to expand your resume by giving you projects that ask you to learn new skills. The School is absolutely committed to making the best dancers in the world, and hires only teachers that are really passionate about the art of teaching as well as the art of dance, which is a rarity. The office is similar in its understanding and enthusiasm for dance. This is one of the best arts administration jobs in the country.

    Cons

    The only serious problem with working with a senior staff who are nearly all former dancers is that the technological capabilities aren't that great. It can be frustrating to have to show someone how to log in to their computer or send a fax, though outside of the senior staff, this isn't usually a problem, and their passion for dance and integrity towards creating a great school environment cancels out the frustrations.

    Advice to Management

    I love working here. However, if I needed to change one thing, I would encourage instead of saying, "This is a problem, we should set up a meeting to fix it" while already in a meeting, you should fix it right then and there. This is also true when it's a problem that requires three people to fix it, and two of them are already in the room.

  8. "Wonderful people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Wonderful colleagues, great to work for a mission-driven organization.

    Cons

    Departments were "silo"ed. Not always easy to learn or contribute outside your lane.

    Advice to Management

    consider providing more leadership development opportunities for staff.


  9. "Dysfunctional Departments, Inadequate Senior Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Free dance classes, decent pay, comp tickets to annual season performances

    Cons

    Senior management is not open to hearing honest feedback. Any issues or concerns raised are met with heavy opposition and punishment. Communication is bereft at best and there is a clear lack of focus and teamwork amongst departments.

    Advice to Management

    There is a difference in being a boss and being a Leader.


  10. "Hard Work, Many Benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits - retirement plan contributions, flexible spending accounts, free dance classes
    Opportunities to learn

    Cons

    Long hours
    Advancement can be difficult

    Advice to Management

    Provide more opportunities for career development


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