A dancer isn’t always born a dancer. Sometimes a mother has to step in. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago with his single working mother, Solomon Dumas was involved in community theater and interested in the arts. But dance wasn’t much of a presence in his life until his mother signed him up for AileyCamp, when he was 12.
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Standing on the stage where she first learned how to dance, 17-year old Dymon Smith softly describes her passion for the arts. “I found my heart in dance. It’s been my breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. I can’t imagine my life without it,” she said. Smith is a student at the New World School of the Arts but it was on this stage where she voluntarily spent six weeks of her summer mentoring and training younger dancers at AileyCamp Miami. Just a few years ago, Dymon was an Ailey camper. She was 10-years old when she was introduced to the power of dance.
Some talented students danced the weekend away in Downtown Miami, as AileyCamp held its 10th summer day camp. For the past decade, the free, six-week event has been welcoming students ages 11 through 14 and has strived to provide them with a fun, safe and artistic environment. AileyCamp Miami uses dance as a vehicle for developing self-esteem, creative expression and imagination.
The Alvin Ailey Dance Camp has been using the power of dance to positively impact the lives of children in the North Lawndale neighborhood for the last three years, offering a creative outlet and making ABC7 Eyewitness News Chicago Proud.
The campers came, sewed and stitched to create a quilt to celebrate AileyCamp Miami's 10th Anniversary. The young dancers presented the quilt on July 18 in front of an audience of parents and relatives. AileyCamp Miami is a six-weep, full scholarship program that is funded by the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. During the time, campers work to boost their self-confidence and become fluent in West African, jazz, modern and ballet dance routines.
WNBC Anchor Jummy Olabanji goes behind the scenes at AileyCamp New York for an inside look on how the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater continues to give back to the community.
THE BRONX - The prestigious Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's AileyCamp is celebrating its 30th anniversary. About 1,000 kids citywide are participating in the weekslong, free summer program to learn the art of different types of dance, including ballet, modern, jazz and West African. The kids will get to show off what they learned with a performance next month at the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture. This year marks 60 years since the dance company was founded. AileyCamp was the last foundation created by Ailey before his death in 1989. Organizers say the camp is made possible by funding through Children’s Aid.
Campers in Miami are learning a variety of artistic talents this summer that will help them learn about themselves. AileyCamp teaches students West African dance to modern dance, as well as poetry and life skills. Each year only 110 students are chosen, out of hundreds of Miami-Dade students ages 11 to 14 who apply.
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.