AileyCamp, the nationally acclaimed summer program for middle schoolers that uses dance to stretch the minds, bodies and spirits, is currently underway in 10 cities nationwide with a curriculum guided by the theme “perspective.” Greeting each day of camp with daily affirmations such as “I will not use the word can’t to define my possibilities,” AileyCampers are actively engaging in a variety of dance classes such as West African, Horton-based modern, and jazz, as well as creative communications and personal development classes. More than a dance program, AileyCamp focuses on developing self-esteem, creative expression, and critical thinking skills, ultimately helping participants reach their unlimited potential.

Using the arts and dance as a vehicle for change, the full scholarship six-week program was founded by Alvin Ailey in 1989 in partnership with Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey, and this summer, with the launch of AileyCamp Atlanta in partnership with Purpose Built Schools, AileyCamp uplifts youth in 10 cities: Baltimore, MD; Berkeley, CA; Chicago, IL; Kansas City, KS and MO; Miami, FL; New York, NY; Newark, NJ and Seattle, WA. All AileyCamps culminate with a special final performance for friends, family and community members, where they will showcase their hard work through original choreographed dances, poetry readings, and theatrical improvisations. Local to Ailey’s home in New York City, upcoming final performances for Children’s Aid/AileyCamp New York (Thur., August 10 at 7pm, HOSTOS in the Bronx) and AileyCamp Newark (Weds., August 2 at 7pm, NJPAC in Newark) will demonstrate what the campers have learned over the summer. 

In addition to Solomon Dumas and Christopher Taylor who attended AileyCamps in Chicago and Newark respectively, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater recently welcomed De’Anthony Vaughan to the Company, whose dance training began at AileyCamp in his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, where the program was first established.