At the end of 2020 Kate & I identified a fair few items of dancewear that we wanted to reduce our stock holding of but wanted to be creative in how we did this.
After some discussion Kate contacted Jessica Ward, Principal at Elmhurst Ballet School, to see if she could point us at any dance schools who might benefit from a donation of dancewear.
From this call Jessica introduced us to The Leap of Dance Academy in Nigeria, Africa, and Transformación Ballet in Sololá, Guatemala, two dance schools and charities who carry out incredible work in their communities to bring ballet to dancers who would otherwise not get the chance.
Leap of Dance Academy’s profile skyrocketed last summer when its founder, Creative Director and self-taught ballet teacher Daniel Owoseni shared a video on the academy’s Instagram feed. The footage shows 11-year old student Anthony dancing barefoot in the rain outside his Lagos home. The video went viral and highlights the young dancer’s tenacity, passion and talent for dance developed during his time with the school.
Founded by Christine Tjahjadi-Lopez, Transformación Ballet strives to grow student’s self-worth and determination through dance. The school teaches a range of dance styles including ballet to children of all socio-economic backgrounds, including two orphanages on Lake Atitlán, Sololá. The school challenges and motivates its students on an individual level whilst teaching them how to create and achieve in a healthy and supportive environment.
Both Leap and Transformación work with children who are hugely underrepresented and unreached in the dance and ballet world. Their ethos is that ballet should be enjoyed and seen by anyone who wishes to engage, regardless of their situation and background. We are delighted to be able to play a small part in supporting this ethos.
With Elmhurst taking care of the shipping, we have been able to send 140 boys’ and girls’ leotards, over 70 pairs of satin, leather and canvas ballet shoes, and 18 pairs of pointe shoes divided between the two schools
We were inspired by some of the stories we saw of the children pursuing dance despite difficult circumstances. Being parents of a dancer, we know the commitment each and every one of these students makes to achieve their goals.
Given the obstacles the past year has presented, it is truly lovely to be able to spread some joy to dancers in need.