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The Misty & Michela Effect On The Future Of Ballet In Africa

Michaela DePrince

Africa has shaped the artistic world for centuries especially in the areas of dance and music. The aim of Ballet Has Decided is to add to this heritage by creating a world-class standard for ballet classes, lessons, courses, training, tuition, performance, education and expression in West Africa.

Interest in Classical Ballet is growing all across West Africa and potential ballerinas, ballet dancers, ballet teachers & contemporary dance choreographers now have a number of inspirational role models from the international world of classical ballet.

Michaela DePrince’s journey from an orphanage in the war-torn  West African country of Sierra Leone to prima ballerina and principal dancer at the Dutch National Ballet is particularly relevant to young girls all over West Africa.

Michaela DePrince is seen as a ‘local girl who has done well ‘ and her portrayal of strength, self-reliance, confidence and power are the key elements of female empowerment that we want young girls in Africa to recognise and identify with.

Misty Copeland’s well-chronicled journey to becoming the first female African American principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre has helped jump start conversations about racial representation in ballet companies.

She has already helped launch ABT’s Project Plié, which seeks to boost racial and ethnic diversity in ballet through partnerships with organizations like the Boys & Girls Club and with other companies, including Ballet Austin, Cincinnati Ballet and Orlando Ballet.

The Ballet Has Decided mission is to help increase the participation in classical ballet in Africa. Our long term vision is to support Ballet, Contemporary Dance and Performing Arts Centres in Africa where the best ballet dancers can be nurtured, developed and showcased.