A 15 Year Old From Navi Mumbai Swirls His Way To The Top Ballet School In New York

15-year-old Amir Shah is headed to one of the most prestigious ballet academies in the world, the ‘American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School’ in New York. He is one of the first male ballet dancers from India to reach this level of classical ballet.

Interestingly, Amir Shah had absolutely no clue about ballet until the day his dance teacher realised the grace with which he moved. The teacher thought that he could be a step away from becoming a professional ballet dancer. Amir grew up in a low-income neighbourhood in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, only began training in classical ballet two years ago.

“Until then, I’d been learning the hip-hop genre of dancing which I’d taken up since 2013,” Amir said.

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Yehuda Maor, an American-Israeli dance teacher at The Danceworx performing arts academy, discovered the talent in Amir.

“He’s a very special child. Over the past two years that he has spent towards learning classical ballet, I’ve seen him perform like his body has imbibed the language of ballet. His dance movements are rendered with such natural ease, that it makes you speechless at times,” Yehuda proudly says.

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On May 18, a crowd-funding campaign was started to help Amir raise money to pay for the school fees, flight tickets, and living costs in New York.

“I sometimes think if I didn’t have ballet, I would not have anything,” the teenager says in a video posted on a GoFundMe page. “I didn’t know ballet could take me so far. I didn’t realise I could become a ballet dancer.”

“Once I’d walked into the world of ballet, nothing seemed more important in my life. In fact, it had been a long-cherished dream to be a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre and with this opportunity, I hope I can become one someday.

The total cost of his year-long stay in New York is approximately USD 29,000 or Rs 18,80,000. This includes tuition fees, residential fees, health insurance for the year, ballet attire, and other living costs. You can help Amir reach his dream of becoming India’s first principal dancer by contributing to this campaign here.

H/T: The Better India

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Hema Sanghavi

A crazy Bibliophile who is an ambivert. Harry Potter fanatic, and a foodie. Usually ends up reading fan-fiction and dreams of writing one!

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