Sixty-one underserved middle-school students from schools in Berkeley, Oakland, Richmond and Albany danced their hearts out Thursday (July 30) in the finale of Cal Performances’ 14th annual Berkeley/Oakland Ailey Camp at UC Berkeley.
The youth performed in One Person at a Time, an original production by David McCauley, the director of the local Ailey Camp and a Cal Performances teaching artist. McCauley said the program title came in answer the question “How do we build community?”
The Thursday performance showcased summertime training of 11 boys and 50 girls in ballet, jazz, modern and West African dance, before a packed audience at Zellerbach Auditorium.
The camp is designed not to train professional dancers but to promote self-esteem, self-discipline, creativity and critical thinking, relying heavily on positive peer and adult role models.
The Berkeley/Oakland Ailey Camp, one of 10 such programs held each summer across the country, is the only one that is offered on the West Coast and on a university campus.