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Roxbury summer camp helps local youth discover dance

Posted by Patrick Rosso  August 3, 2012 11:09 AM

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As the school year quickly approaches, students that took part in the 13th-annual AileyCamp Boston are getting prepared to show their fellow campmates what they learned at the summer arts camp.

Sponsored by the Celebrity Series’ Arts, Education, and Community Program, the tuition-free camp runs from July 2 to August 10 and provides a day-camp for Boston middle school students.

Formed in 2000, the camp, which has locations throughout the United States, offers students the chance to take part in some unique summer programs including dance instruction, creative communication classes, and field trips.

“I am impressed and thrilled with our AileyCampers this year. Their hard work and enthusiasm makes coming to camp meaningful each day,” said Mila Thigpen, the camp’s artistic director. “It’s incredible to watch them grow and mature throughout the six weeks they participate in camp, and I’m looking forward to their final showcase performance on August 9.”

Students are now preparing to show their families and friends what they learned at the camp including classical ballet, modern dance, jazz dance, and tap dance.

“I think AileyCamp is fun because the staff makes you laugh and they are all really cool. Every class is fun. Over the past few weeks, we have been working really hard for the final performance, and the teachers are making sure we look good,” said camper Deion Docanto, who’s a student at the Roxbury Prep Charter School.

The classes that AileyCamp offers are unique but the students they cater to are what makes the program important.

Serving students at the Orchard Gardens Elementary School in Roxbury, the program works to not only develop artistic skills in its students, but make them better communicators with critical thinking skills and mutual respect for each other. In addition to the students development the camp works to specifically target individuals from underserved neighborhoods including Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan.

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Email Patrick D. Rosso, patrick.d.rosso@gmail.com. Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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