Children From Brazil's Favelas Turn to Ballet for Escape

A respected ballerina is bringing hope to dozens of kids.

Ballet in Brazil - Every year, dozens of disadvantaged girls and boys from the slums of Brazil are selected to participate in a prestigious dance workshop led by a respected Brazilian ballerina. Keep reading to learn about this inspiring initiative and its significance to the young girls. ? Patrice Peck(Photo: AP Photo/Andre Penner)

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Ballet in Brazil - Every year, dozens of disadvantaged girls and boys from the slums of Brazil are selected to participate in a prestigious dance workshop led by a respected Brazilian ballerina. Keep reading to learn about this inspiring initiative and its significance to the young girls. — Patrice Peck(Photo: AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Ballerina Hopefuls - Joana Machado (pictured) is one of several instructors teaching groups of young dancers from Brazil?s favelas the art of ballet. More than 20 girls, ages 5 through 12, from a tough Sao Paulo neighborhood called ?cracolandia,? or crackland, attend Machado?s classes at her new studio twice a week, AP reports.(Photo: AP Photo/Andre Penner)

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Ballerina Hopefuls - Joana Machado (pictured) is one of several instructors teaching groups of young dancers from Brazil’s favelas the art of ballet. More than 20 girls, ages 5 through 12, from a tough Sao Paulo neighborhood called “cracolandia,” or crackland, attend Machado’s classes at her new studio twice a week, AP reports.(Photo: AP Photo/Andre Penner)

All Kinds of Stories - "We see all kinds of stories here. From girls who haven't showered in days, who don't know how to brush their teeth, who are locked inside their homes all day," Machado, instructor and head of the project, told AP. "I feel always responsible for their lives, always worried about what may happen.?(Photo: AP Photo/Andre Penner)

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All Kinds of Stories - "We see all kinds of stories here. From girls who haven't showered in days, who don't know how to brush their teeth, who are locked inside their homes all day," Machado, instructor and head of the project, told AP. "I feel always responsible for their lives, always worried about what may happen.”(Photo: AP Photo/Andre Penner)

From the Favela - The AP reports that girls growing up in favelas are more likely to become pregnant as teens. Additionally, the 2010 census reportedly found that the rate of illiteracy was twice as high in favelas than in other areas of the country. (Photo: AP Photo/Andre Penner)

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From the Favela - The AP reports that girls growing up in favelas are more likely to become pregnant as teens. Additionally, the 2010 census reportedly found that the rate of illiteracy was twice as high in favelas than in other areas of the country. (Photo: AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Bringing Hope - "The way I see ballet in these forgotten areas is that it brings children hope. They audition, they participate in a workshop and they are more motivated,? Brazilian ballet dancer Priscilla Yokoi told AP about the annual four-day workshop. (Photo: AP Photo/Andre Penner)

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Bringing Hope - "The way I see ballet in these forgotten areas is that it brings children hope. They audition, they participate in a workshop and they are more motivated,” Brazilian ballet dancer Priscilla Yokoi told AP about the annual four-day workshop. (Photo: AP Photo/Andre Penner)

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A Great Opportunity - The 150 underprivileged children selected for the workshop receive classes with foreign ballerinas and perform a showcase in October. Yokoi also has dance scouts from the Bolshoi school in Brazil attend the workshop, which takes place in Paulina, a city north of Sao Paulo.(Photo: AP Photo/Andre Penner)

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A Great Opportunity - The 150 underprivileged children selected for the workshop receive classes with foreign ballerinas and perform a showcase in October. Yokoi also has dance scouts from the Bolshoi school in Brazil attend the workshop, which takes place in Paulina, a city north of Sao Paulo.(Photo: AP Photo/Andre Penner)

The Future of Ballet in Brazil  - "I see my project as a window into what ballet can become in Brazil if we find talent within these communities,? said Yokoi.(Photo: AP Photo/Andre Penner)

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The Future of Ballet in Brazil  - "I see my project as a window into what ballet can become in Brazil if we find talent within these communities,” said Yokoi.(Photo: AP Photo/Andre Penner)