This South African Township’s Black Dancers Are Getting Ballet Class for the First Time
June 29, 2016

It’s not Monday, but this is definitely a #MotivationalMonday story. (#WayToGoWednesday? #WowWednesday? #WellIllBeDamnedWednesday? OK, stopping now.) At the township of Soweto (in Johannesburg, South Africa), black adult dancers are learning ballet for the first time. For the past several decades, ballet had been reserved for the white minority.

These Soweto students are learning ballet for the first time. Photo courtesy of AFP.

This video details one of the teachers, Maria de Torguet, and her eager students. Perhaps best of all, after the dancers’ morning ballet classes, they teach what they’ve learned that day to their adolescent students. It’s clear that these people are getting the true ballet treatment—check out de Torguet’s hands-on stretch (and her student’s grimace), about 30 seconds in, and her delightful squat on the floor during tendus (no doubt so she can catch any bad habits before they form).

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