MIAMI – The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater swoops back into the Adrienne Arsht Center this month for its annual engagement.
The premiere dance company led by Miami's Robert Battle comes bearing gifts -- scholarships for local dancers to go to New York.
"The wonderful thing is that we are offering two scholarships -- one male and one female," Battle said. "This is a wonderful opportunity and I encourage everyone to come out and give it a shot. What do you have to lose?"
Ailey Camp Miami was recognized last year at the White House. It was a 2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award winner for its work with underserved youth in Miami.
Every year, the six-week program helps students from Miami-Dade public middle schools experience excellence in the arts while learning life skills and building self-esteem.
During every Ailey engagement in February, there is always a free student show, and that's how Battle first got the "Ailey experience."
"I saw that performance (and) it inspired me so much that it took me from here to New York City and eventually to the helm of the company," Battle said.
The company returns with several new pieces to perform, including Revolution Dream inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Untitled America, a piece about mass incarceration in the U.S.
The company always wraps up their show with Ailey's masterpiece revelation -- a piece about triumph over struggle.
"(It's) very important in modern dance that we are not only seen but heard, (and) that the stories we tell on stage reflect the people who come and see us, so that everyone can relate," Battle said.