• Dancers on stage


AileyCamp 2021 is Going ONLINE!

AileyCamp 2021 will provide a free four-week online program for selected youth ages 11–14 from June 28–July 23, 2021 from 8:30 am–12:30 pm (PST).

Due to ongoing uncertainties around the pandemic, Cal Performances is unable to offer an in-person camp this year. And yet, the need for young people to connect with each other and with caring adults, express themselves, and experience the transformative power of dance has never been greater than at this moment. In response, our talented staff and teaching artists are developing a Zoom-based, four-week, half-day camp that will retain the best of AileyCamp by providing small-group lessons in West African, Ballet, Jazz, and Modern Dance, Creative Communication and Personal Development classes, guest workshops and special events, mentorship, and an opportunity to showcase their accomplishments with an end-of-camp video.

Please contact us at aileycamp@calperformances.org, or (510) 642-4630 for more information.

Important Dates:

June 28 First Day of AileyCamp
July 5 Closed (in observance of Independence Day)
July 23 End of Camp Performance / Ceremony & Celebration

About Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp

Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp is a full scholarship summer program that has transformed the lives of over 1,000 young people from the East Bay and beyond since its first camp in 2002.

This nationally acclaimed summer program uses the power of dance to support 11-14 year-olds in developing self-esteem, creative expression, and critical thinking skills. Conceived by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and run locally by Cal Performances, Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp combines professional level dance training with personal development activities. Around 60 campers are chosen from each year’s pool of applicants, enrollment does not require prior dance experience.

The program’s dedicated staff, instructors, and group leaders provide role models and mentorship, impacting campers’ lives, and by extension, their families and communities, as they move into their high school years and beyond.

The Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp Experience

AileyCampers receive daily training from experienced teaching artists in four major dance forms (Modern, Ballet, Jazz, and West African), explore creative writing and the visual arts in Creative Communications classes, and enhance their social and emotional development through the Personal Development course. A cornerstone of the AileyCamp program, Personal Development promotes life skills such as goal-setting, nutrition, conflict management, media literacy, positive self-image, leadership development, and more. Stimulating field trips and guest artist workshops round out the campers’ week.

In a typical year, when in-person camp is possible, Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp is held on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley, encouraging campers to feel a sense of belonging and to envision their own potential college experience. Campers have breakfast and lunch in a university dining hall, participate in a campus scavenger hunt, and perform in a professionally presented final showcase on the Zellerbach Auditorium Stage with full technical and design support, offered free to supportive audiences made up of family and friends.

Support AileyCamp!

Become a Friend of Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp today! Your contribution makes it possible for young people to experience this transformational arts program.

  • A $50 donation provides a camper’s uniform.
  • A $100 donation provides two dance classes for a group of 12 students, led by a master teaching artist in Modern, Ballet, Jazz, or West African dance.
  • A $300 donation provides a week of Creative Communication lessons, integrating visual arts and writing as powerful means of self-expression.
  • A $1,000 donation covers the cost of one child attending camp for a week.
  • A $5,000 donation covers all costs of sending one child to camp for the summer.
Donate Now

To learn more about financially supporting Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp, please contact donate@calperformances.org or call the Donor Information Line at 510.642.8653

AileyCamp is made possible in part with generous support from the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, the Fremont Group Foundation, the Quest Foundation, the Sato Foundation, the Clorox Company Foundation, and individual donors. Special thanks to the Marin Academy for supporting AileyCamp with a generous in-kind equipment donation.

Meet our Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp Staff

Patricia West, Managing Director

Patricia West is a Bay Area native, educator, and performing artist. She aims to create and support spaces that foster self-expression and collaboration. She earned a Bachelor in Arts in English, Education and Dance from U.C. Berkeley and a Master in Arts in Education from San Jose State University. Since 2001, West has had the honor to work as an academic teacher in both public and private schools, from kindergarten to middle school. She has also taught dance to all age and skill levels, from preschoolers to adults. Most recently, West has founded and directed dance programs and served as a middle school advisor/teacher. West has had the honor of working and performing both nationally and internationally with The Alayo Dance Company, Zaccho Dance Theater, Fog Beast, as well as many others. Since 2006, West has been a performer and an Education Coordinator with the San Francisco-based dance theater organization, the Joe Goode Performance Group. West co-founded DAP, a performing arts collective, in 2017. Connect with Patricia West via email at: pwest@berkeley.edu.


Watch a group of AileyCampers move from the first week of camp to the grand finale performance.

View these videos to learn more about Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp, past to present.

For an inside look at 2021 AileyCamp in session June 28–July 23, 2021, check out our Facebook and Instagram pages for photographs, videos, student work, and more.


California magazine: Stepping up

Inside Arts: The art of dance, the art of life [PDF]

Contra Costa Times: Changing lives, step by step [PDF]

San Francisco Chronicle: Hoisting the sail and having a ball [PDF]

Dance Studio Life: Making Alvin proud Part 1, Part 2 [PDF]

San Francisco Chronicle: Kids from the ‘hood get breakfast, lunch and new attitude at Cal dance camp [PDF]