Now Accepting Applications in Select Cities

This summer the nationally acclaimed AileyCamp program celebrates 35 years of positively impacting inner-city youth across America through the arts with a curriculum guided by the theme, “Excellence”. Founded in 1989 by Alvin Ailey and the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey, AileyCamp is a testament to his vision of using dance to enrich young lives. AileyCamp – still accepting applications in select locations (click here) – helps students ages 11-14 reach for their unlimited potential in 10 cities nationwide: Baltimore, MD; Berkeley, CA; Chicago, IL; Kansas City, KS and MO; Miami, FL; New York, NY; Newark, NJ and Seattle, WA.

Marking the 35th anniversary, the essence of AileyCamp is presented in a special anniversary video, highlighting Mr. Ailey’s legacy and impact on the next generation. The six-week full scholarship program focuses on developing self-esteem, creative expression, and critical thinking skills while engaging in a variety of dance techniques daily, including ballet, Horton-based modern, jazz, and West African dance. In addition to stretching their minds, bodies, and spirits, campers learn how to express themselves in a positive way and tackle challenging subjects that include decision-making, peer pressure, conflict resolution, and self-awareness. Each AileyCamp culminates with a special final performance for family, friends, and community leaders where campers showcase their hard work in original productions of choreographed dances, poetry readings, and theatrical improvisations. To commemorate the metro area youth’s transformations and accomplishments, AileyCamp Newark’s final performance will be on Thursday, August 8 at New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Children’s Aid/AileyCamp New York on Friday, August 9 at 7pm at Hostos Community College.

“It brings me so much joy to celebrate 35 years of this amazing, life-changing program. Alvin Ailey’s present to our youth has enabled participants to shine brightly as leaders and created a ripple effect that positively impacts friends, families and communities,” said Nasha Thomas. “After performing with the Company for 12 years, it’s also been a great honor to serve as the National Director of AileyCamp for the past 25 years – it has profoundly enriched and changed my life too. I’m forever grateful for the gifts that Alvin Ailey shared with me and the opportunity to pay it forward, so his legacy continues to inspire the next generation.”

The AileyCamp experience extends beyond the summer sessions, with reunions and special activities, including witnessing a performance by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, featuring three AileyCamp alumni, who were introduced to dance through the program: Solomon Dumas (Chicago), the first former AileyCamper to join the troupe; Christopher Taylor (Newark), who also studied on scholarship at The Ailey School and dance with Ailey II prior to joining the Company; and De’Anthony Vaughan(Kansas City, MO), also an Ailey School scholarship student. Although AileyCamp is not meant to be a training ground for professional dancers, some students are awarded scholarships to further study at The Ailey School or pursue training at other accredited dance schools and have later performed with professional dance companies.

As the last program Alvin Ailey founded before his passing, his trailblazing legacy continues to reach thousands of young people through AileyCamp every summer, providing direction, aspiration and helping students across the country reach their full potential.

Applications are still being accepted in all cities except Berkeley, Miami, and Seattle. For details on how to apply, please visit

2024 AileyCamp Schedule:
Atlanta, GA: Purpose Built Schools Atlanta (June 3 – July 12)
Baltimore, MD: Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University (July 1 – August 9)
Berkeley/Oakland, CA: Cal Performances (June 17 – July 26)
Chicago, IL: AileyCamp Chicago (June 24 – August 2)
Kansas City, MO & KS: Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey (June 5 – July 16)
Miami, FL: Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (June 17 – July 26)
New York, NY: Children’s Aid (July 1 – August 9)
Newark, NJ: New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Newark Public Schools (July 1 – August 9)
Seattle, WA: Seattle Theatre Group (June 26 – July 31)