AileyCamp, the nationally acclaimed summer program that uses dance as a means to stretch the minds, bodies, and spirits of middle-school students, is coming to Atlanta this summer from June 5 – July 14 at Luther J. Price Middle School in partnership with Purpose Built Schools Atlanta. The six-week, full scholarship program helps students ages 11-14 reach their full potential with classes in dance, personal development, creative communications, and inspiring daily affirmations. Founded by Alvin Ailey and Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey in 1989, AileyCamp develops self-esteem, self-discipline, creative expression, critical-thinking and goal-setting skills in a supportive environment.
“Alvin Ailey believed that dance could profoundly impact young lives through programs like AileyCamp. We both experienced a life-changing transformation when we entered into the world of dance,” said Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle. “For over three decades, AileyCamp has inspired and educated young people and I’m thrilled that students in Atlanta will be empowered to move purposefully and forge their own path to success.”
“We are excited and honored to partner with the Ailey organization and give our students the opportunity to use the power of dance to explore their creativity and help develop self-confidence,” said Greg Giornelli, CEO of Purpose Built Schools Atlanta. “This is a tremendous example of how partnerships with the arts can help ensure our scholars thrive not just in school, but beyond.”
AileyCampers learn a myriad of dance techniques in daily classes such as ballet, Horton-based modern, jazz, and West African dance. The acclaimed program has a strong emphasis on Personal Development and Creative Communication classes, teaching campers how to express themselves in a positive way and tackle challenging subjects that include decision-making, peer-pressure, conflict resolution, and self-awareness. In addition to creative and educational classes, their experience at AileyCamp includes curated theme-based lessons and begins with reciting daily affirmations such as “I will pay attention with my mind, body, and spirit,” and “I will not use the word ‘can’t’ to define my possibilities,” to guide AileyCampers to becoming confident, productive, and motivated individuals. Tuition, uniforms, dance attire, field trips, breakfast, and lunch are provided during the camp, which culminates in a final performance for friends, family, and community leaders showcasing the students’ hard work in original productions of choreographed dances, poetry reading, and theatrical improvisations.
“A key component of the Purpose Built Schools model is to ensure our students have access to experiences enabling them to live full, happy, and successful lives,” said Dr. Nikkita Warfield, Chief Academic Officer of Purpose Built Schools Atlanta. “Dancing with AileyCamp is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will no doubt have a profound impact on our students by helping to bolster self-esteem, teach leadership skills, and empower them to think about their future beyond the confines of their current surroundings.”
Students from Purpose Built Schools Atlanta will be introduced to the inspiring world of AileyCamp on Thursday, January 12 at 1 p.m. at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights during an AileyCamp Sampler Workshop led by AileyCamp National Director Nasha Thomas, a former dancer with the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
“I’ve witnessed the capacity of AileyCamp to enrich the lives of students, giving them tools to set and achieve goals and a platform to express themselves,” says Nasha Thomas, National Director of AileyCamp. “We’re thrilled to partner with Purpose Built Schools Atlanta so that this powerful program serves area students and helps ignite the light within them to shine brightly.”
Although AileyCamp is not meant to be a training ground for professional dancers, two AileyCamp alumni – Solomon Dumas and Christopher Taylor – will be performing as members of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the Fox Theatre, February 16-19 for five show-stopping performances as part of a 22-city North American tour. Led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, Ailey’s extraordinary dancers will move audiences with premieres, new productions, and the must-see masterpiece Revelations. In addition to a special performance for students during the engagement and AileyCamp Atlanta, the Ailey organization is offering workshops, residencies, and auditions in Atlanta, including:
- Revelations: An Interdisciplinary Approach residency, Monday, January 30 – Friday, February 3 at Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy and M. Agnes Elementary School. This innovative curriculum-based program utilizes Alvin Ailey’s signature masterpiece, Revelations, as the inspirational framework for a comprehensive study of language arts, social studies, and dance.
- The Ailey School Auditions, Saturday, February 11 at 10 a.m. (ages 12-15) and 12 p.m. (ages 16-25) at Atlanta Ballet. The mission of The Ailey School is to make dance accessible to outstanding students through a curriculum of rigorous and diversified dance training. Nearly 80% of current Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater members received their pre-professional training from The Ailey School.
- Ailey Experience, returns to Atlanta on Saturday, February 25 – Sunday, February 26 (location to be announced), providing dancers ages 8 and up the opportunity to learn Horton, contemporary, and Latin jazz techniques from leading Ailey Extension instructors and former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater company members. Presented in partnership with AREA Atlanta, the two-day workshop also teaches participants the rich history of Ailey’s signature style and how he changed the perception of American modern dance. No experience is necessary to join in the fun! For more information and to sign up please visit alvinailey.org/extension.
Bank of America is Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s North American Tour Sponsor.
The 2023 National Tour is supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power, and Home Depot are all Ailey & Atlanta supporters.
The return of AileyCamp Atlanta is generously supported by the Fund II Foundation.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater grew from a now‐fabled March 1958 performance in New York that changed forever the perception of American dance. Founded by Alvin Ailey, posthumous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor, and guided by Judith Jamison beginning in 1989, the Company is now led by Robert Battle. Since 1992, Ailey Arts in Education & Community Programs has been committed to bringing dance into classrooms and communities across the country to positively impact people of all ages through the power of dance. In addition to AileyCamp, a full scholarship day camp for youth, in-person and remote programs include lecture-demonstrations; technique classes; innovative curriculum-based residencies inspired by Alvin Ailey’s Revelations and Night Creature; and AileyDance for Active Aging, a program that serves as an outlet for artistic expression and fosters a sense of joy. Promoting the uniqueness of the African‐American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance tradition, the Ailey organization also includes: Ailey II (1974), a second performing company of emerging young dancers and innovative choreographers; The Ailey School (1969), one of the most extensive dance training programs in the world to develop the next generation of performing arts; and Ailey Extension (2005), dance and fitness classes for the general public, which began with the opening of Ailey’s permanent home at 55th Street at 9th Avenue – The Joan Weill Center for Dance – the largest building dedicated to dance in New York City, the dance capital of the world. For more information about Ailey’s performances and programs, visit www.AlvinAiley.org.
About Purpose Built Schools
Through an innovative partnership with Atlanta Public Schools (APS) that began in 2016, Purpose Built Schools Atlanta began operating Slater Elementary, Price Middle and Carver STEAM Academy. Since then, Purpose Built Schools has evolved into a high-impact organization serving approximately 1,300 students and 1,000 families in three schools comprising one of Georgia’s lowest-income K-12 feeder patterns. Purpose Built Schools’ mission is to develop students’ skills and cultivate their agency in pursuit of their unlimited potential. Our model has proven that when students have access to high-quality education, exposure to enrichment opportunities, and basic needs such as housing, adequate nutrition, and mental health supports, their success is limitless.