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Zita Allen, dance writer for the New York Amsterdam News, was the first African American critic for Dance Magazine, founding contributor to ‘70s Black dance publication The Feet, and has written for Ballet Review, Village Voice, SoHo Weekly News, New York Times, and Essence. She authored Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, 25 Years, the Kennedy Center’s Masters of African American Choreography, the American Dance Festival/PBS Free to Dance documentary’s companion website, Black Women Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement (Scholastic), contributed to the Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History (Macmillan), Smithsonian’s Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theatre Shaped American Entertainment (Random House), and “Arthur Mitchell’s Dance Theatre of Harlem: The Early Years” for Columbia University Library's Arthur Mitchell: Harlem Ballet's Trailblazer. She holds an M.A. from NYU in Dance History, taught "The Black Tradition in American Dance" for the Ailey/ Fordham BFA program, guest lectured at Juilliard, and Temple University where she is pursuing a Ph.D.in Dance Studies under a University Fellowship.