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AileyCamp
About

Welcome to AileyCamp! It is a rich history, and you can be a part of it. On behalf of the AileyCamp and Cal Performances, I welcome you to a wonderful new adventure. The dreaming and hard work of generations of artists has gone into making this camp possible.

Mr. Ailey always said to his dancers "You are all gods and goddesses!" By invoking our own wisdom and beauty, he gently reminded us of our responsibility to give our very best. Remember who you are, imagine who you wish to be, and give it your all!

David W. McCauley
Director, Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp

Mission of AileyCamp
Combining dance training with personal development activities, AileyCamp is a six-week vehicle for success for middle school students aged 11-14. With professional-level instruction aimed not as a training ground for dancers but at developing self-esteem, self-discipline, creative expression and critical thinking skills, AileyCamp is the nationally acclaimed youth program conceived by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and run locally by Cal Performances.

The national AileyCamp model targets students with academic, social and domestic challenges—criteria that often determine a child's risk of dropping out of school—but also welcomes students who have little opportunity to develop their artistic interests. An important aspect of the program's success is in providing positive adult and peer role models for underserved youths. Students finish camp with valuable life skills and a sense of accomplishment before entering the challenging high school years.

Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp, started in 2001, is the original West Coast site of the highly respected program. Founded by Alvin Ailey and the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey in 1989, AileyCamp has operated successfully at sites in New York City and Staten Island, the Kansas Cities (Missouri & Kansas), Boston, Chicago and Bridgeport, Connecticut, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Miami.

The AileyCamp Experience
AileyCamp at Cal Performances is held in Zellerbach Hall and adjacent buildings on the UC Berkeley campus. The university venue provides a valuable experience for youths to consider pursuing higher education as a personal goal.

Individual applicants are interviewed by AileyCamp staffers and volunteer community leaders. All campers receive full tuition scholarships, breakfast and lunch, camp uniforms and dance clothing, and, in some cases, transportation to and from camp.

Students take professional-level technique classes each day in Ballet, Horton-based modern dance, Jazz dance, and West African dance. Classes in techniques of performance and creative communications deepen the students' awareness of their potential for self-expression; and personal development classes provide counseling in nutrition, conflict resolution, drug abuse prevention, decision-making and goal setting. The camp is supplemented with weekly educational and recreational field trips.

During the final two weeks of camp, everyone works together on the final performance, with daily rehearsals and production-oriented experiences. Camp culminates with a proud graduation ceremony on the last day of camp, following the triumphant final performance.