AileyCamp 2021

AileyCamp is proud to continue to provide inner-city youth in seven cities nationwide the opportunity to be themselves and explore their creativity with its first-ever virtual summer program. Founded by Alvin Ailey and Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey in 1989, this innovative full-scholarship day camp for middle school students uses dance as a vehicle for developing self-esteem, self-discipline, creative expression, and critical-thinking skills. Driven by Alvin Ailey’s belief that dance was for everyone, AileyCamp will be held over four weeks virtually this summer in Baltimore, MD; Kansas City, KS; Kansas City, MO; Miami, FL; New York, NY; Newark, NJ and Seattle, WA.

The nationally acclaimed summer program will continue to inspire young people through dance by providing three virtual classes per day in dance techniques such as ballet, Horton-based modern, jazz and West African dance. Personal development and creative communication classes will teach campers how to express themselves in a positive way and tackle challenging subjects that include decision-making, peer-pressure, conflict resolution, and self-awareness. Each day will feature specially 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 on a path to becoming confident, productive, and motivated individuals. Camp tuition, dance attire, a water bottle, and an AileyCamp mask are provided to each student free of charge.

Last month, select AileyCamp Newark and New York campers were invited to participate in the Ailey organization’s first-ever Ailey Spirit Benefit global broadcast. Since the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) caused the suspension of several in-person activities, the Ailey organization has continued to share the Ailey spirit with a variety of digital dance offerings through Ailey All Access – a free online initiative featuring  free streaming of performances, conversations, original short films created by the Ailey dancers, and other especially created content. AileyCamp is committed to bringing dance into the homes of underserved youth and finding new ways to be socially linked to each other at a time when so many students lack the community and connection that an in-person experience would typically offer.


Although AileyCamp’s culminating grand finale performance is unable to take place on stage at this time, campers will have the opportunity to showcase their hard work in a virtual performance for family, friends and community leaders. All seven cities will celebrate love in their final performances, the theme guiding the AileyCamp curriculum this year. Campers will perform an excerpt inspired by Love Stories, Judith Jamison’s dynamic collaboration with Artistic Director Robert Battle and hip-hop pioneer Rennie Harris. The performances not only highlight the creative and technical skills of the campers, but also celebrate their growth in a dynamic display of the self-confidence, performance skills and pride developed during camp.  

Since its inception, AileyCamp has reached thousands of underserved youth across the country, providing direction and hope to children who are most in need of knowing that there can be a bright future. During this challenging time, AileyCamp’s virtual program will continue to provide a safe and creative environment to motivate and educate students in cities nationwide including:


Baltimore, MD – Towson University (July 13 – August 7)

Kansas City, KS & MO — Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey (June 3 – June 26)

Miami, FL — Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County (July 13 – August 7)

New York, NY —Children’s Aid (July 13 – August 7)

Newark, NJ — New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Newark Public Schools (July 13 – August 7)

Seattle, WA — Seattle Theatre Group (July 1 – July 22)


Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs are committed to bringing dance into classrooms, communities, and the lives of people of all ages. In addition to AileyCamp, programs include special student performances; lecture-demonstrations; technique classes; innovative curriculum based residencies inspired by Revelations and Night Creature; and AileyDance for Active Seniors, a program that serves as an outlet for artistic expression and fosters a sense of joy. For further details on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Ailey organization’s performances, training programs and Ailey Arts In Education activities, visit