In this Saturday, July 6, 2019 photo, an AileyCamper rehearses the opening routine for a performance later that night at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center in Jonesboro, Ga. Some dancers had never received professional training prior to attending the camp. (AP Photo/Andrea Smith)

Summer AileyCamp provides dance training, life skills

July 22, 2019 - 1:22 am

JONESBORO, Ga. (AP) — Like other summer camps, AileyCamp helps its participants to learn valuable leadership skills. But it has something that others probably don't: choreography.

Founded by world-renowned dancer, director and choreographer Alvin Ailey, the six-week camp provides professional dance training for middle school students in 10 states, including those with academic, social or family challenges. It also introduces them to the visual arts, creative writing and other forms of self-expression aimed at helping them to build a sense of self and strengthen their self-esteem.

About 100 students attended the Atlanta AileyCamp from May 30-July 5. Camp director Diane Caroll Sales says about half of them had some prior exposure to dance, but very few had professional training.

Sponsors cover the cost of dance training and attire, breakfast and lunch, field trips and classes for creative communication and personal development.

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