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AileyCamp
2009 Diary

Week 1: June 22 - 26

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Friday, June 26

Field Trip Friday: OCSC Sailing

After a well rounded week at AileyCamp, AileyCampers were treated to a field trip at the Berkeley Marina. Founder Anthony Sandberg and C.E.O. Richard Jepsen of OCSC Sailing welcome 2009 Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp for a day of nautical adventures. After team building exercises led by Mike Martin and eating a tasty lunch, all 50 campers set sail around the bay.

Mike Martin leads team building exercises Mike Martin leads team building exercises Campers all suited up for the sail Campers all suited up for the sail

Campers getting on a boat Campers getting on a boat Ready to set sail Ready to set sail

Splash!! Splash!! AileyCamper Lukas takes a driving lesson AileyCamper Lukas takes a driving lesson

Say Say "OCSC-eeeeee"

What the campers say about their sailing experience:

"My favorite part of the day was when we were dancing in the hull of the boat. It was hard to do because the boat kept rocking back and forth with all the waves, but it was hecka fun!" - Adora

"Driving the boat was the most fun ever!" - Lucas

"I enjoyed the team building activities, sailing and learning how to drive a boat. It was so much fun!" -Julian

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Thursday, June 25

Building Character

Today in Creative Communications and Techniques of Performance class, AileyCampers learned how to express themselves and relate to one another through tableau. This week, Miguel Zavala, Creative Communications instructor, taught the campers how to connect to each other through objects and poses. AileyCampers were asked to bring an object and share how they relate to the item.

Below is an example: Kemma loves to draw and she brought in one of her drawings. One of the campers expressed an interest in Kemma's drawings.

Writing response Writing response

In another exercise, the campers were asked to create a frozen picture told a specific story using their bodies.

Tableau of Tableau of "students love dancing"

In Techniques of Performance class, AileyCampers were placed in pairs and instructed to create a movement mirroring each other. The activity required the campers to remain focused and connected to their partner so they could move in unison.

Mirrored movements Mirrored movements

At the end of the day, the National Director of Ailey Camp, Nasha Thomas-Schmitt stopped by and taught the campers some choreography to the music of Mary J Blige. The AileyCampers were quick to pick up the steps with plenty of enthusiasm.

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Wednesday, June 24

Keeping Fit (mentally & physically) at AileyCamp

AileyCamp teaches the importance of maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

During the morning bus rides, Group Leader Lakiesha Golden greeted each camper and asked them, "What time did you go to bed last night?"

"Around 8:30 pm" - Chyna
"Before 9 pm" - Adora
"I went to bed early. I was tired after AileyCamp!" - Giovanni

AileyCampers understand the importance of a good night's rest and a wholesome breakfast, especially when you have to plié for almost an hour or hop quickly across stage in African Dance. Following breakfast, AileyCampers begin the day on the Zellerbach stage with the ten AileyCamp Affirmations. Some of the Affirmations include, "I will keep a positive attitude all day, everyday," and "I will not use the word 'can't' to define my possibilities".

Group Leader LaKiesha Golden on AileyCamp bus Group Leader LaKiesha Golden on AileyCamp bus Campers riding the AileyCamp bus Campers riding the AileyCamp bus

A nutritious breakfast A nutritious breakfast AileyCampers delivering the Daily Affirmations AileyCampers delivering the Daily Affirmations

Since they are working hard in their dance classes, AileyCampers are encouraged to make sure they stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

AileyCampers in Modern Dance AileyCampers in Modern Dance AileyCampers stopping by the waterfountain to keep hydrated AileyCampers stopping by the waterfountain to keep hydrated


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Tuesday, June 23

Welcome to Personal Development

Shawn Nealy, Personal Development instructor of AileyCamp is guiding the campers to focus on self-control and learning about consequences for the first week. Today, she posed the question,"what is personal development?"

Camper responses:
"How to grow into a better person" - Misha
"When you get help on your needs. Like your feelings" - Blessing
"To better yourself" - Jazzmin
"Emotional responsibility" - Katherine

When the topic of self control arose, AileyCamper Ameila declared, "without self control, there is chaos."

After a group discussion, Shawn taught the mantra Strength and Courage, with a body movement that culminated in a folk song from Ghana.

AileyCamp instructor Shawn Nealy leads a group discussion AileyCamp instructor Shawn Nealy leads a group discussion The campers listen for instructions The campers listen for instructions


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Monday, June 22

First day of Camp!

Summer has arrived! The first day of AileyCamp allows the campers to get to know the staff and their fellow campers. The campers received a warm welcome from the AileyCamp instructors and were given their first dance lesson on the Zellerbach stage after receiving their camp uniforms.

Camp Director David McCauley welcomes the campers Camp Director David McCauley welcomes the campers AileyCamp volunteers working hard to tailor the ballet shoes AileyCamp volunteers working hard to tailor the ballet shoes

Campers showing off their uniforms Campers showing off their uniforms First dance class on stage First dance class on stage

This is what the staffers have to say about the first day of camp:

"The first day of camp went really smoothly. The kids were receptive and open. The energy they put out was positive." Shawn Nealy, Personal Development instructor

"Since I'm new, it is great to see how organized and structured everything is." Miguel Zavala, Creative Communications instructor

"All the kids were excited about the ballet shoes. Even the boys." AileyCamp staff

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AileyCamp video
AileyCamp!
Want to learn more about the Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp at Cal Performances? Watch this seven minute video that follows a group of Berkeley campers from beginning impressions through the grand finale performance.