• Dancers on stage


AileyCamp 2023
We’re Back: Live & In-Person!

Join us as we return to the joyful and rigorous in-person program AileyCamp is known for. Our free six-week program for selected youth ages 11–14 runs from June 20–July 28, 2023, from 8:30am–3:30pm.

AileyCamp’s talented staff and teaching artists are excited to offer campers classes in African dance, Ballet, Jazz, Modern Dance, Creative Communication, and Personal Development, as well as a variety of field trips, guest workshops, and special events. Camp culminates in a performance that showcases campers’ accomplishments before an audience of hundreds in Zellerbach Hall.

During this pandemic time, it’s become more important than ever for young people to engage in the arts. We’re designing a camp that will incorporate effective Covid-19 Health and Safety protocols while providing a space for young people to connect meaningfully with each other and with caring adults, to express themselves, and to experience the transformative power of dance.

Please contact us at aileycamp@calperformances.org, or 510.642.4630 for more information.

Important Dates

Tue, June 20 – First Day of AileyCamp
Tue, July 4 – Closed (in observance of Independence Day)
Thu, July 27 – Camp Performance
Fri, July 28 – End of Camp 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 in 1989, 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 Zimbabwean dance), 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.

Held on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp encourages campers to feel that they belong on campus 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. 

Have questions? See our FAQ sheet.

2022 Final Performance: Believing We Can

At the end of their six weeks in this life-changing program, the campers demonstrated their new skills with a final dance performance, Believing We Can, inspired by this year’s theme of faith. Complete with professional staging, lights, costumes, and live music, the showcase performance took place on Thursday, July 28 at 7pm at Zellerbach Hall. Watch the performance video: https://youtu.be/p8Eh3hpT-OI

Support AileyCamp!

AileyCamp is one of our most well-known and respected education programs and—thanks to the generosity of our donors—is operated on a full-scholarship basis for all campers. For many participants, AileyCamp represents their first opportunity to attend a summer camp, to receive rigorous, immersive training from professional artists, and to spend time on a college campus.

Please consider making a gift today to ensure that AileyCamp will continue to provide even more young people with opportunities for personal discovery and growth through the power, beauty, and joy of dance. 

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 California Arts Council, the Fremont Group Foundation, the Quest Foundation, the Sato Foundation, and individual donors.

Meet our Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp Staff

Patricia West, AileyCamp Director
Patricia West is an educator and performing artist, born in the Bay Area. 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 company member and Creative Engagement Lead 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.

Spencer Pulu (SPULU), AileyCamp Associate Director
SPULU is a creative mover, storyteller, dance maker, fashion designer, and performing artist from Chochenyo, Ohlone land (Oakland, California). SPULU is also a former Ailey camper (2005). Years after their experience as a camper, SPULU also served as a volunteer, group leader, group leader supervisor, and now joins AileyCamp as its new Associate Director. Their artistic work has been showcased all over the world in response to the social issues facing Pacific Islanders worldwide, specifically the Tongan community. SPULU uses arts and movement as a form of resistance and protest. His recent work was featured in the 2020 Oakland’s Black Joy Parade, Levi’s Pride 2019 International campaign, they also co-created a NIKE shoe “Nike OAK”; which sold out the first few days of launch. SPULU is currently working as a fashion designer from his home studio while serving as a birth advocate with the Pacific Islander Doula Collective (MANA Pasifika) in the San Francisco Bay Area. SPULU is super excited to join the AileyCamp team this year and hopes to foster the same community and connection he’s encountered these past years.


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