AileyCamp Reaches Ten Cities Nationwide as It Marks Two Decades of Inspiring Youth

Press contact:Christopher Zunner
(212) 405-9028 /
(New York) June 29, 2009 - This summer students from 10 cities throughout the United States are invited to have a life-changing and meaningful experience at AileyCamp®.  “As AileyCamp celebrates its 20th anniversary, it's amazing and rewarding to see the growth and impact the program has had on communities across the country. Today there are 11 camps in 10 cities serving over 1,000 young people! What an achievement this is for the Ailey organization and our AileyCamp partners,” said Nasha Thomas-Schmitt, National Director of AileyCamp and a former member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. 
Founded by Alvin Ailey and Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey in 1989, AileyCamp gives inner-city students ages 11 to 14 a supportive environment to use dance as a vehicle for developing self-esteem, self-discipline, creative expression and critical-thinking skills.
AileyCamps six week curriculum offers disciplined dance technique classes in ballet, modern, jazz, and tap in addition to personal development and creative communication classes that examine peer pressure, conflict resolution, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, nutrition, and interpersonal relationships.  To complete the curriculum, students also take part in weekly cultural and recreational field-trips. Daily affirmations such as “I will not use the word can’t to define my possibilities” serve to build self-confidence and also strengthen the supportive community of peers and teachers that make up AileyCamp.
The AileyCamp environment cultivates a respect for oneself and others that impacts participants’ lives long after the conclusion of the summer session.  One former camper fromChicago, who now studies at the Ailey Summer Intensive on scholarship, becomes emotional in recalling an instance that defined his dedication to the camp.  “Alvin Ailey recognized that dance could inspire young people in life-changing ways,” explains Mrs. Thomas-Schmitt, “For underserved students, the AileyCamp experience sets the stage for achieving important goals in high school and beyond.” 
Several AileyCamp participants have been motivated by their summer experience to achieve great accomplishments such as graduating from professional performing arts schools; studying dance at The Ailey School and The Julliard School; dancing with Ailey II, Lines Ballet Co., and TU Dance; and continuing the artistic education and support of youth by working as AileyCamp counselors.
This year AileyCamp has already changed the lives of youth in Los Angeles with a program that ended on April 26 and is in full swing in Atlanta (June 1 to July 10); Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO (June 8 to July 17); Berkeley, CA (June 22- July 31); New York and Staten Island, NY; Bridgeport, CT and Chicago (June 29 to August 7); Boston (July 1 to August 7); and Miami, FL (July 13 to August 7).
Chase is the National Art of Learning Sponsor.
Bloomberg is the sponsor of AileyCamp New York.
The Glorya Kaufman Dance Foundation presents AileyCamp at The Music Center in Los Angeles.
The AileyCamp program is supported by The Lehman Brothers AileyCamp Endowment Fund.
Leadership support for Ailey’s Arts In Education and Community Programs is provided through the Simin & Herb Allison Arts In Education Endowment Fund.
Founded in 1958, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is known as America’s cultural ambassador to the world.  To date, Ailey has performed for more than 23 million people in 48 states and 71 countries on 6 continents. The Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc. is the umbrella organization which includes Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Ailey II, founded in 1974 as a junior performing company of emerging young dancers and innovative choreographers; The Ailey School, founded in 1969 and currently offering some of the most extensive dance training programs in the world; Ailey Arts in Education & Community Programs which offers year-round activities and camps that benefit underserved youth in New York and cities across the country; and The Ailey Extension, which offers dance and fitness classes to the general public. 

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