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The Alvin Ailey Dance Center is now a part of a new consortium of dance schools. The consortium - which includes several other New York-based dance schools - is the first of its kind.

Called The Emergency Fund for Student Dancers, it was set up so that dance schools could work collectively to help students - particularly foreign students - make it in the Big Apple.

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The idea for the fund came about after a young female dancer who came overseas to study in New York was murdered by a man who offered her an inexpensive apartment.

The fund allows dancers to borrow money interest-free for any "emergency be it for housing, health, airplane ticket home. The consortium is also publishing a resource guide with valuable information for New York survival. Money is raised through dance performances.

"This is the first time schools have really come together," says Denise Jefferson, director of the Alvin Ailey Dance Center. "It's been a wonderful chance for all of us to work together."

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