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.
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.
Tamara Best has long loved Alvin Ailey's dance company- and so she leapt at the opportunity to learn on of its seminal pieces on a sunny evening at New York's Lincoln Center.
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.
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.”
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.
While the upbeat jazz of Duke Ellington played in the background, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater instructors taught their choreography to a group of students Feb. 16 at Miami's Phillis Wheatley Elementary School.