top of page


The Horton technique was created and developed by American modern dance pioneer Lester Horton in the 1930's and 40's. Its evolution stemmed from Horton's classical foundations, his experimental approach to movement and his fascination with Native American folklore, Afro-Caribbean, Japanese and Indonesian traditional dance.

Distinguished by its corrective anatomical focus and highly stylised aesthetic, the Horton technique promotes a well rounded, refined, fiercely athletic and expressive dance artist. A Horton class is progressive in nature; beginning with a warm-up that includes flat backs, lateral stretches, foot articulations and leg swings, followed by more complex studies or fortifications that focus on a specific physicality or movement quality. Amongst others, its application is recognised in the works of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.

Alvin Ailey, a protégé of Lester Horton, created the masterpiece Revelations, using the technique as its premise. The Ailey School continues the legacy of both Horton and Ailey, not only in the physical training of their dancers but in their quest for inclusivity and freedom of expression.

“I am sincerely trying now to create a dance technique based entirely upon corrective exercises, created with a knowledge of human anatomy; a technique which will correct physical faults and prepare a dancer for any type of dancing he may wish to follow; a technique having all the basic movements which govern the actions of the body; combined with a knowledge of the origin of movement and a sense of artistic design.”

-Lester Horton



Chima Valavanis (nee Olujie) is dedicated to

preserving the integrity and relevance of the Horton technique today and sharing it with Australian dance artists. She is committed to providing access to high caliber, codified dance training that in turn will encourage long and healthy careers.

"Horton Technique Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which we gather and dance, and extends that respect to their elders past, present and emerging."

bottom of page