What will you do in this decade? These phenomenal women are at #theperfectage to level the playing fields for everyone with experience, wisdom and heart - watch them work. The Dancing Director, Nasha Thomas, 55, former ballet dancer and National Director of AileyCamp, an Alvin Ailey summer camp based in dance for underserved youth.
Arts In Education
In my head, I am a lovely dancer: graceful, elegant, deeply attuned to the music. My feet, however, tend to disagree. I was reminded of this tragic reality during a recent workshop with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The company is back in town celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first performance in Boston, and a key part of that celebration was to offer two community workshops last month. The opportunity was irresistible: Join scores of other people, some trained dancers and some not, to learn some of the movements from the Ailey company’s most famous piece, “Revelations.”
How did a young man, like you, from the South Side of Chicago become interested in dance? My mother was the one who insisted that I go to AileyCamp. I did a lot of community theater in the South Side of Chicago (I was interested in being an actor), and my mom thought it would be a good idea for me to know how to dance. She had seen Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform, and heard they were hosting a summer program for inner city children.
For 6 weeks, the Alvin Ailey dance camp provides 100 students from some of Miami’s roughest neighborhoods with meals, transportation, and, most of all, a safe place for expression.
Dance is what makes Kristina Lahoud come alive. Whenever she hears music, especially Rihanna, she can’t help but move with the beat... To follow her passion, Kristina joined AileyCamp Miami, an annual summer camp presented the past nine years by Adrienne Arsht Center.
Christian Herrera started dancing when he was 4 years old. He said he knew that he would be a dancer when he did his first split at his grandmother’s house. Now, at age 13, Christian is a second-year student at AileyCamp, a summer enrichment program for dancers that focuses on personal development, with 10 national sites. As a standout student, Christian has had the opportunity to perform at the Alvin Ailey Gala at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Few, if any of a specially selected group of 103 Newark students have ever stepped foot on a stage. But with each new position, leap and plie the magic of Alvin Ailey’s American dance camp weaves in each of them a powerful new story through movement. AileyCamp gives these young people a place where they can feel like it’s home,” said the National Director of AileyCamp, Nasha Thomas.
From ballet and tap to modern and jazz, Aileycamp offers classes for free. “AileyCamp gives them an opportunity to express themselves to a have a platform for creative expression," Nasha Thomas explained. The six-week program, in partnership with the Children’s Aid Society, is celebrating its 27th year in New York serving more than 100 students.
The names Alvin Ailey and Atlanta Ballet are synonymous with great dancing, and once again this summer, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is teaming up with Atlanta Ballet to present an incredible opportunity to some young dancers.
Master teacher and former Ailey dancer Nasha Thomas shared some of her dance moves with students from Bowie Elementary and Charles Drew Charter. The Alvin Ailey Revelations workshop took place at the High Museum of Art in Northeast Atlanta. The workshop is part of Ailey’s new program, Destination Dance.