Must-see 2 min. video in link at end of summary
A teenager from a Mumbai slum is closer to fulfilling his dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer after being accepted into a prestigious school in New York. Amiruddin Shah, the 16-year-old son of a welder, will enrol at the American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School (JKO) in August, less than three years after taking up the dance.
“I come from a poor family who didn’t know anything about ballet or America but they are very supportive and I am really excited to be going,” Amiruddin told AFP.
The youngster had never heard of ballet when one day in 2013 he left his family’s cramped shanty to sign up for hip hop classes at a dance centre offering lessons for underprivileged children. . .
It was there, the following year, that he caught the attention of Israeli-American ballet master Yehuda Maor, who immediately spotted Amiruddin’s natural talent . . .
Mr Maor put Amiruddin through a rigorous training regime and the Indian quickly mastered complex moves such as the pirouette and the pointe, . .
“Somehow his body learned this classical language with such ease that in the two and a half years I’ve been training him he achieved the level of a professional dancer that takes nine-ten years to achieve,” Mr Maor told AFP.
“As a ballet teacher, I’ve been trained to look for the weakest point of a dancer. With him I cannot find a weak point. He is a class by himself,” . . .
“I want to become a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre and join the ranks of Daniil Simkin, Sascha Radetsky and Roberto Bolle. They are my favourite ballet dancers.”
Amiruddin says he wants to open his own ballet academy one day, as India currently doesn’t provide government funding for western dance forms.
“I want to help children from similar backgrounds as mine to achieve their true potential,” he said. (7-3-2017)
Must see video (2:50) - http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-india-40484608/amir-shah-india-s-billy-elliot-takes-off