AileyCamp kids in both Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas, are ready to put on a show. 

The camp is a free six-week summer dance program—put on by KC Friends of Alvin Ailey— designed to introduce middle schoolers to the world of dance. Both KCK and KCMO AileyCamps culminate with a performance showcase from the campers. 

KC Friends of Alvin Ailey CEO Melanie Miller says both shows will feature dance, art, music, and spoken word poetry. The performances take place July 11 in KCK, and July 12 in KCMO, both are free to attend and begin at 7 p.m.

“We’d love for the community will come out and support these young people as they demonstrate all that they’ve learned from AileyCamp,” says Miller 

There are now 10 AileyCamps around the country, but the concept began in Kansas City nearly 35 years ago. Campers learn African, jazz, tap, ballet, and modern dance from experienced dance instructors, including Ailey II dancers. 

More than dance, the camp focuses on developing self-esteem, creative expression, and critical thinking skills. The students go through a series of classes and workshops revolving around a central theme; this year’s theme is perspective. 

“AileyCamp gives young people an opportunity to have a quality arts experience, make friends, express themselves, and recognize that they matter,“ says Nasha Thomas, National Director of AileyCamp. 

Each year KC Friends of Alvin Ailey selects campers aged 11-14 who go to public school in Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas to attend the camp. For six weeks, the kids receive an arts education from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. five days a week, with lunch and all supplies provided.

The free program is supported by donors. If you’d like to donate or learn more about AileyCamp or KC Friends of Alvin Ailey’s upcoming after school dance program, visit

AileyCamp Performances

July 11 at 7 p.m.

Carl B. Bruce Middle School 

2100 N 18th St, Kansas City, KS 

July 12 at 7 p.m.

Paseo High

4747 Flora Ave, Kansas City, MO