In This Brazilian Slum, Ballet Teaches Young Girls Everything About Life
Surrounded by poverty, Tuany Nascimento teaches 50 girls life lessons through one of the classiest dances, ballet.
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.
But Nascimento wants girls to think like olympic athletes in the school she opened in 2013, Na Ponta dos Pés (On Our Tiptoes).
“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.”
Nascimiento wants to show the world that the favelas are not just poverty and drugs.
“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
Is she an angel or what?
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