Nasha Thomas

National Director of AileyCamp. Arts In Education & Community Programs Master Teacher, Spokesperson

Nasha Thomas oversees AileyCamp and designs the national outreach for Ailey’s Arts In Education & Community Programs. As a primary liaison between the Ailey organization and the national arts-in-education community, she plays a central role in working with local communities to develop and run AileyCamp in cities across the U.S., as well as managing national residencies, leading workshops, and teaching master classes, helping Arts In Education reach over 100,000 people each year through education and community initiatives. A graduate of New York’s High School of the Performing Arts and Southern Methodist University, she received the prestigious Presidential Scholar of the Arts award. At the invitation of Alvin Ailey and later under the direction of Judith Jamison, Ms. Thomas danced with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from 1986 to 1998.  

Highlighted as one of Good Housekeeping’s “Humanitarians Who Are Our Heroes,” Ms. Thomas  combines her passion for inspiring the next generation and personal experiences as a performer and Master Teacher to lead Ailey Arts In Education programs in public school classrooms across the country to the Lincoln Center Plaza and from Gracie Mansion to the White House, and more. In 2020, Ms. Thomas reached students across the world virtually as she helped kicked off the 60th anniversary of Alvin Ailey’s iconic Revelations with a social-distanced workshop streamed from the Rockefeller Center rooftop, with virtual programs for TED Discovery Series and Facebook, and was the lead instructor for the Revelations Virtual Dance Workshop Series, designed for middle school students blending dance with poetry, history, and music, which builds a foundation of artistic exploration that will enhance any students’ academic experience.

Featured News Releases

Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs Expands Remote Learning Activities With Revelations Virtual Dance Workshop Series

(New York, NY) February 4, 2021 – Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs is proud to announce an inspiring new virtual series that expands available Remote Learning Activities for schools and organizations looking for alternatives to in-person dance classes and residencies, supplements to physical education offerings, or to provide an engaging extracurricular activity for students. Launching during Black History Month as Alvin Ailey’s signature American masterpiece Revelations marks six decades, Revelations Virtual Dance Workshop Series furthers Ailey’s mission of using dance to inspire, enlighten, and entertain people of all backgrounds and ages.

Ailey Extension And AREA Atlanta Join Forces To Host Classes Led By Stars Of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater During First-Ever Virtual Ailey Experience Destination Dance Atlanta Workshop Series

(New York) January 27, 2021 – For the first time in the five-year history of its collaboration, Ailey Extension and AREA Atlanta are coming together to make the multi-day Ailey Experience Destination Dance Atlanta event into a virtual affair. This year’s participants are in for a unique treat, as the workshops will be taught by current Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Company members. The three-day weekend experience immerses greater Atlanta residents in the spirit of Ailey with classes in Horton, contemporary, and West African techniques, while introducing dancers to the exciting world of choreography, creativity, and fun in a non-competitive environment. These classes and the preceding panel discussion allow participants to learn the rich history of Ailey’s signature style and how he changed the perception of American modern dance.

AileyCamp Launches First-Ever Virtual Program To Connect With And Inspire Inner-City Youth In Seven Cities Nationwide While Celebrating Love

New York, NY – July 8, 2020 – 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.

Featured Press Coverage

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PIX 11 - Alvin Ailey Launches Livestream To Commemorate Iconic Work

The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater has become a cultural landmark in the world of dance. For the last six decades, dancers from the iconic company have performed signature masterpieces all over the globe. Now as we celebrate the holidays during these unprecedented times, the theater debuts its first virtual engagement to honor one of its classic ballets called Revelations.

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NPR's Here & Now - Celebrating 'Revelations' In These Times

If life were normal this spring, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater would be on the road performing its annual national tour. They'd be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the company's signature work, “Revelations”, described by The New York Times as “modern dance's unquestionably greatest hit.”

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Atlanta Journal Constitution - Alvin Ailey 'Revelations' Comes To Fox

For 21 years former Alvin Ailey principal dancer Nasha Thomas has traveled to Atlanta with a singular mission. In an age when many public schools have gutted or cut back on their arts programs, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Thomas - in a long and important collaboration with the city - haven shown the value of art in individual lives. The founder of the renowned New York City-based Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey, who died in 1989, was an advocate for the importance of arts education and believed that bringing the arts to underprivileged communities and to public schools was vital.