New Jersey Stage

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Ailey Organization Proudly Announces the Launch of the First Ever AileyCamp Newark Thanks to the Support of The Prudential Foundation

Photo by Cara Sipprelle
(NEWARK, NJ) -- AileyCamp, the innovative full-scholarship summer day camp, will launch in Newark, New Jersey for the first time ever, thanks to major support from The Prudential Foundation. The Ailey organization, in collaboration with Newark Public Schools and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, will provide Newark-area middle school students with an inspiring program that uses the art of dance as a means to stretch their minds, bodies and spirits.

    "The founding of AileyCamp Newark, in addition to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's annual spring engagement at NJPAC, will allow Ailey to further enrich the lives of Newark students"

"The founding of AileyCamp Newark, in addition to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's annual spring engagement at NJPAC, will allow Ailey to further enrich the lives of Newark students," said Artistic Director Judith Jamison. "AileyCamp represents a vital continuation of Alvin Ailey's original vision that "dance is for everybody," and uses the power of dance to inspire and educate young people allowing the light within them to shine brightly."

During the six-week program, held at Newark Arts High School from July 5 to August 12, one hundred students ages 11-14 from local Newark schools will have the opportunity to learn important life skills through classes in a variety of dance techniques, as well as in personal development and creative communication. This summer, AileyCamps will be held at ten sites throughout the United States, giving approximately one thousand inner-city students the opportunity to have a life-changing and meaningful experience.

"The Prudential Foundation has high regard for the exceptional work of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and is committed to supporting best-in-class programs for our community," said Gabriella Morris, vice president and head of Prudential's Community Resources Department and president of The Prudential Foundation. "AileyCamp Newark will provide exciting new opportunities that will expose Newark-area students to high quality arts and education programs during the summer."

Founded by Alvin Ailey and Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey in 1989, AileyCamp gives underserved students a supportive environment to use dance as a vehicle for developing self-esteem, self-discipline, creative expression and critical thinking skills. Participants are often transformed as they learn the importance of setting and achieving goals, gaining experience in decision making, and carving out their own identities.

"The Newark Public Schools and the Office of Visual and Performing Arts are thrilled to be partnering with the Ailey organization as they launch their dance camp in the great city of Newark," said James Sheeley, Director of Newark Public Schools Office of Visual and Performing Arts. "The Newark Public Schools have been a leader in dance education in New Jersey and we look forward to continuing that legacy through our implementation of AileyCamp Newark."

The camp's curriculum includes daily technique classes in ballet, Horton-based modern dance, jazz, and West African dance. Personal development and creative communication classes deepen student's awareness of their potential for self-expression and discuss topics such as goal setting, self-government, nutrition, conflict resolution, career development and self-image. Daily affirmations, such as "I will not use the word ‘can't' to define my possibilities," serve to build self-confidence and strengthen respect for themselves and others within a supportive framework.

AileyCamp Newark will culminate with a final performance at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center's Victoria Theater on Wednesday, August 10 at 7:00pm. The stage will come to life with an original production for family, friends and community leaders where campers showcase their hard work in specially choreographed dances, poetry readings and theatrical improvisation.

"NJPAC Arts Education is delighted to deepen our longtime relationships with the Ailey Organization, Arts High School in Newark and The Prudential Foundation through this exciting collaboration on AileyCamp Newark," said Sandra Bowie, VP of Arts Education at NJPAC. "This dynamic camp will be a summer highlight for the students of this great city. We look forward to the culmination of this program on our stages in August, but know that the impact for students will be felt well into the future."

In addition to the launch of AileyCamp Newark this summer, AileyCamps will provide a safe environment to motivate and educate students in Atlanta, GA (June 6 to July 15); Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS (June 13 to July 21); Berkeley, CA; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; and Miami, FL (June 27 to August 5); Bridgeport, CT and New York, NY (July 5 – August 12). Camp tuition, uniforms, dance attire, field trips, breakfast and lunch are provided.

Although AileyCamp is not meant to be a training ground for professional dancers, some students are awarded scholarships for further study at The Ailey School or pursue training at other accredited dance schools and have later performed with professional dance companies. In addition to AileyCamp, Ailey's Arts In Education & Community Programs brings dance into classrooms and communities through lecture-demonstrations, technique classes, and innovative curriculum based residencies inspired by Revelations.

For further details on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Ailey organization's performances, training programs and educational activities, visit www.alvinailey.org.