Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Jacqueline Green is a classically elegant dancer who moves with a deep soulfulness—and her quick rise through the ranks has cemented her place in the spotlight. An Ailey/Fordham BFA Program graduate, and a former Ailey II dancer, she’s been an Ailey company member since 2011. In 2014, she received a dance fellowship from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA and last year she was a Clive Barnes Award nominee. Catch her this spring in Ailey’s 20-city North American tour before she heads back to NYC, where she’ll perform lead roles in the company’s Lincoln Center season, June 8–19. And read on for The Dirt! —Courtney Bowers
Who’s your dance role model?
ALL of my coworkers! I admire them for many different reasons. I’ve seen how hard they work and what they deliver on stage. I’m proud to say I dance with them.
Is there anything that makes you nervous?
I can perform in front of thousands comfortably, but a flight to Europe can make me anxious.
What’s your favorite dance movie?
I love the classics so… 1987’s Dirty Dancing. I’ve actually been ‘Baby’ practicing salsa on the subway platform.
Who can always make you laugh?
My family! No matter what. My grandmother is the funniest of them all.
Do you have any nicknames?
Jackie, Jax, K, Jackie Green Day, Three 🙂
What’s your advice for other young performers?
Always remember why you started and why you continue. It can get tough sometimes, but if you stay inspired, the tough part becomes smaller.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?
A signature slice from Make My Cake!!!
Who’s your dance crush?
Mr. Matthew Rushing! My company knows this for sure. He is simply amazing!
Do you have any pre-performance habits or superstitions?
I love to have a quiet moment and touch my hands to the marley before the curtain goes up.
What are your pet peeves?
Spatially unaware people…it’s the New York in me.
What one thing can’t you live without?
Coconut oil! It has so many uses: moisturizer, makeup remover, chapstick, cooking oil, lotion, etc.
What’s the most-played song on your playlist?
Right now it has to be Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright!”
What’s something no one knows about you?
I have recently become a huge fan of Korean TV dramas.
If you could work with any performer, past or present, who would it be?
Michael Jackson or Alvin Ailey
What do you love most about being an Ailey dancer?
Everything! But recently, I love how people react when you tell them you’re an Ailey dancer.
What’s your most-watched TV show?
I love love LOVE “Martin,” “Sex and the City,” “The Nanny” and all things Shonda Rhimes!
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
According to my middle school yearbook, a famous dancer, pediatrician or veterinarian.
Who would play you in a movie?
If I had a choice, Dorothy Dandridge or Angela Bassett
What’s something you’re most proud of?
I’m most proud of my relationships with my family and closest friends. I feel so fortunate and blessed to have them in my life.