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How the impoverished girls of Peru are winning international dance awards


Cerith Gardiner - published on 05/29/19

Thanks to the passion and generous heart of a former dancer, ballet is becoming accessible to the poor.

So many young girls dream of being ballet dancers, but as most parents can attest, the cost of classes and the right clothing can be prohibitive. One former professional ballet dancer in Peru named Maria del Carmen Silva is changing that. She is trying to ensure that girls from all backgrounds get the opportunity to dance.

In a country where 7 million families live on about $105 per month, ballet is completely out of reach for many girls. Yet Del Carmen Silva is trying to bring equality to young girls in Lima by offering free classes to girls from poor areas. The future prima ballerinas join other girls from the more upscale neighborhood of Miraflores — and the result is beautiful.

The girls come together in dance, challenging the notion that ballet can be elitist, and the group has won international dance awards — giving the girls a sense of worth and recognition. As Maria del Carmen Silva shared in the video below, on stage all the girls are the same which was very important to her.


Read more:
One mother’s letter encouraged the New York City Ballet to do something amazing

Read more:
Peru’s rocking nuns who have atheists turning their heads now caught the attention of the BBC

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