Ballet Esperança provides free dance workshops for children between the ages of 6 and 19 from low income and poverty stricken families in Brazil. Through the rigorous training in dance, with its corresponding physical and mental challenges, the children have the opportunity to gain a strong foundation in life by instilling discipline and self-confidence.
In the future, we would like to expand the program to areas outside of Brazil via partnerships with other programs.
While we do not expect a student to become a world-renowned ballet dancer, we feel that all children can have their opportunities enhanced by instilling a sense of achievement and pride in the rewards found in dance. Ballet provides the perfect framework that associates efforts with accomplishments, from the very basic progress towards better balance and posture, to the more complex, physically and mentally demanding achievements required in a pas-de-deux.
While there can certainly be competition in ballet for attention and for coveted roles, especially during later stages in a career, the early years provide an opportunity for camaraderie, a sense of belonging to a greater whole, and a supportive group all undergoing the same rigors of instruction.
Ballet requires careful counting, memorization of cues, and the ability to internalize potentially complicated rhythmic patterns. Exposure to music and rhythm at such a deep level has rewards of their own. It has been shown that skills learned during the exposure to music can transfer to study, communication and cognitive skills.
This all cannot be done merely with a one month session over winter break. It is the goal of the program to introduce kids to ballet, get them hooked, and, by doing so, instill in them discipline and self confidence that will help them throughout their lives. f
When I was 14 years old I finally understood how lucky I was that I always had access to the best quality dance education in the world. Dance pervaded my life. When visiting my grandparents in a small town in Brazil, I realized that many others did not have that same opportunity. I decided that I wanted to bring the passion of dance to others by sharing what I have been learning since the age of three. I strongly feel that ballet has helped me with my self-esteem, my self-confidence, my health, and it is great fun too! Others should be able to benefit from the rewards of dance too.
I founded Ballet Esperança in 2011 in order to help bring my love of ballet to children that wouldn't be able to afford it otherwise. During my summer break of 2011 onwards, I started teaching ballet to students from the ages of 6 - 19. In 2012, Ballet Esperança was granted non-profit status as a 501c3 corporation in order to help raise funds so that children could have ballet clothing, shoes, and a good place to practice. I eventually would like to bring this opportunity to more students and have the potential for scholarships or year-long dance education.
Ballet Esperança provides a scholarship program to give children the possibility to study dance abroad. The first scholarship recipient, Beatriz Lima, was rewarded a scholarship to study at Pacific Northwest Ballet for the 2014 summer intensive.
After her trip Beatriz wrote, "Uma viagem da qual vou me lembrar para sempre. Fiz tantas amizades, vivi momentos tão bons! Foi como um sonho... Não quero esquecer nada desses incríveis 52 dias." (It was a trip that I will remember forever. I made amazing relationships and had such great moments. It was like a dream… I don't want to forget anything from those incredible 52 days.)
Please contact us with questions!