In This Brazilian Slum, Ballet Teaches Young Girls Everything About Life

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Surrounded by poverty, Tuany Nascimento teaches 50 girls life lessons through one of the classiest dances, ballet.

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The Complexo do Alemão favelas in Rio de Janeiro, where 60,000 residents live in constant drug violence and poverty, will not be getting much attention during the summer Olympics 2016.

o olho da rua ??

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But Nascimento wants girls to think like olympic athletes in the school she opened in 2013, Na Ponta dos Pés (On Our Tiptoes).

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Credit: balletnapontadospes / Weebly

“Classical ballet is one of the art forms that most transforms a person,” she says. “Once you are here, you have rules, you have discipline, you have challenges — all are things that you are going to find in your life. I will not have 49 ballerinas. If I have one, marvelous! But let’s have 49 girls who have an educated mind and are looking for a better future, where they know they have options. The majority think: I’m going to get a job near my home, then I’ll be a mother. They don’t leave the walls of the community. I want to show them that the world is large and that there’s a chance for everybody.”

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Nascimiento wants to show the world that the favelas are not just poverty and drugs.

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Credit: balletnapontadospes / weebly

“It doesn’t help much if you come here and swap the weapons the traffickers have for the weapons the police have,” she says. “I think you could swap a weapon for a boxing glove, a weapon for a computer, a weapon for a ballet slipper.”

Read more about Tuany Nascimento ballet school here

READ: Latinos are on Pointe with the Miami City Ballet

Is she an angel or what?

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