The bay area may not always provide your typical sunny Californian summers, but the sun decided to make an appearance just in time for the Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp’s swimming field trip. Every camper had the chance to enjoy the cool water on their skin, even if they decided not to swim! The swimming field trip was a great way to unwind after a long week of dance classes and workshops with National AileyCamp Director Nasha Thomas-Schmitt. However, let’s congratulate our campers for making it to the halfway mark of AileyCamp! Three week done, and three more to go. Next week, we start our final week of technique classes and start planning our Final Performance.
Nasha Thomas-Schmitt, the National AileyCamp Director, spent two days in Zellerbach Hall teaching our campers choreography for our Final Performance. Here are a few pictures of her working with the Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp:
"It’s a way to express myself, and it’s related to music" - Amir Weksler
"Dancing allows me to get out of my comfort zone" - Tayari Henry
Campers performing a piece in Creative Communications for Open House guests.
On Tuesday, we invited our campers families, friends, and supporters to our annual Open House at AileyCamp. The guests were given a tour of Zellerbach Hall and a sneak peek into their classes.After the tour, our guests were invited to participate in the classes with the campers! Here they are in African Dance:
Every summer, AileyCampers have a chance to strut their stuff down the runway. They might model solo, like Nya Taylor below:Or, they take the runway in duos and trios:
Bobbie Brown, left, and Mestewal Thomas, right, working out their red and white.From left to right: Ma’lia Gibson, Daysha Singleton, Niah Thomas.Of course, it would not be AileyCamp if we didn’t include a dance party in our Fashion Show!
That’s a wrap for Week 2! We can’t wait for all the excitement to come in Week 3: Open House, the swimming field trip, and a very special visit from New York.
Érika Padilla-Morales, otherwise known as Ms. Ishkabibble, teaches Creative Communications. She has been working at the Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp since 2011, sharing her warm smiles, opening campers’ minds, and finding our campers’ voices to let them shine beyond their art pieces.
"When I think of Creative Communications, I think of how we are exchanging messages with each other and how can we connect those messages together. I want my students to have a sense of literacy around messages that they are creating as well as messages they are receiving." - Érika Padilla-Morales
We asked some of our campers two questions: What have they learned so far at AileyCamp? What are they hoping to learn throughout the rest of the summer?"Ailey is fun and tiring. I hope to become a better dancer and be more flexible." -Daceia Ewing"At Ailey I can stretch and do them the correct way with help." -Mestewal Thomas"The dance camp, Ailey, is new for me. I hope to be more social." -Bobbie Brown"At Ailey I’m able to learn how to dance better. One thing I’d take back from Ailey is to be a better listener." -Cameron Clark
AileyCamp Goes Sailing
On Friday, AileyCampers took a field trip to the Berkeley Marina to go sailing with OCSC Sailing.Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp posing for a group photograph before embarking on Friday’s adventures.
Our campers had a great time sailing in the San Francisco Bay! It was a great opportunity to explore the bay area and find a new perspective of cities like San Francisco, Berkeley, Richmond, and Oakland.The campers were split between two groups; as one group took the waters, the others stayed on land for team-building activities led by AileyCamp staff.Shawn Nealy, Personal Development Instructor (right) leads campers in a game of House.
Both groups returned from sailing in time for a delicious lunch outside on the warm sunny day. Before riding the bus back to Zellerbach Hall, the campers played one more game: they made a list of songs that had the word “love” as a lyric, and then they chose one song to perform for their peers.And that concludes our first week of AileyCamp! It was an exhausting week for many, with so many dance classes packed into one week. Luckily, they have the weekend to rest, enjoy, and prepare for the upcoming week 2!
Classes are in session!
At the Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp, we offer several classes:African Dance, taught by Naomi Diouf,Ballet, taught by Priya Shah,Creative Communications, taught by Érika Padilla-Morales,Jazz Dance, taught by Rosario Lionudakis,Modern Dance, taught by Derrick Minter,Personal Development, taught by Shawn Nealy,and last but not least, Techniques of Performance, taught by David McCauley, Director of AileyCamp .
Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp 2014 Begins!
Campers gathered for the first time this summer.
While some students may be sleeping in during their summer break, our campers were awake bright and early to start their first day of AileyCamp. They met at Crossroads Dining Hall where they enjoyed a delicious breakfast before walking over to Zellerbach Hall to embark on their six week journey.
The campers were divided into four groups (C, A, M, and P) and they worked together to name themselves. The four groups are Culture Champions, Alvin Ailey Allstars, Marvel-Us, and Passionate Confident Dancers.
Campers collaborate on their group name.
AileyCamp would not be possible without the time and dedication of its staff and volunteers. This year, the staff created short skits to perform for the campers to demonstrate proper behavior in different scenarios throughout AileyCamp.
AileyCamp staff members show campers how to be present and ready to work.
Our volunteers love the first day of AileyCamp!
The four groups toured Zellerbach Hall before having their lunch at Crossroads Dining Hall. When they came back, they received their uniform with the help of our spectacular volunteers.
Alvin Ailey Allstars
Passionate Confident Dancers
The day ended with a large dance class for the entire camp taught by Modern Dance instructor Derrick Minter.
What a great day it was! Delilah (pictured below) shows us that she is just as excited as all the other campers to start dance classes and learn about Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.