Kansas City, Missouri – Alvin Ailey Camp is over now, and the young people who participated in the intensive six week dance program are waiting out the hot days of August for school to begin.
Ailey Camp is sponsored by the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey. It began 17 years ago as an outgrowth of the second residency Alvin Ailey created in Kansas City. It was designed to bring Ailey's philosophy of dance to students in the Kansas City area -the philosphy that dance can be a discipline for life.
Thousands of young people- many high risk- have gone through the program. It's now been replicated in several cities across the country.
14 year old camper Memory Brown has been recording an audio diary of her experience at Ailey Camp. In her first segment,she wrote about what her expectations were, and how she hoped to make her mother proud. Her mother has been incarcerated for the past ten years. Her second diary talked about what was going on at Ailey Camp midway through the six weeks. In this last piece, Memory Brown reflects on what it feels like to be done with Ailey Camp. She writes about how exciting it was to do a final performance on a professional stage in Kansas City, Missouri. She writes she misses the structure, and her friends. She writes that she knows her mother, if she could have seen that final performance, would have been proud.