A viral video from The Guardian has brought a very special cause into the spotlight: a nonprofit ballet school in Nairobi, Kenya. The school is located in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, and it’s dedicated to teaching children.
The class is held every week after school, and it seems pretty packed.
The students primarily practice barefoot, yet occasionally work with point shoes when it comes to more advanced techniques. It’s primarily funded through the British charity Anno’s Africa (you can donate here!), which is dedicated to bringing arts education to the slums of Kenya. Their website explains that in addition to teaching practical crafts that will lead to paid work, their arts education programs help children to “explore their individual human potential and creativity in a much broader sense; who they are, what they think and believe, what they want for their futures.”
The ballet studio certainly seems to be carrying out that mission. Students have received dance scholarships, and some have gone on to train at the Dance Center Kenya. At Christmas, they performed the Nutcracker at the National Nairobi Theater. From what we can see in the video, it looked absolutely beautiful.
As the dance studio’s teacher, Mike Wamaya, said, “The children we work with go through a lot of challenges… but when they dance they develop hope for a better life.”
(Photo: unomat/Getty Images)
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