Art is life. To us, to dance is to live.
Support for dance, especially ballet in Africa is modest. There is a glaring insufficiency of proper structures or support systems for kids who want to dance, but simply cannot afford to.
This status-quo is even direr for street children and internally displaced teenagers who have the potential to become dance prodigies.
The dance funding ecosystem compared to that of other performing arts is undersized. And the impact of the pandemic added to decades of declining support for this ecosystem was brutal. Most Nigerian dance companies and non-profit organizations operate on shoestring budgets with minimal full-time staff. Many ‘established’ dancers in Nigeria work other jobs to pay the bills.
By the numbers…
- 98% of private and public schools in Nigeria have no proper structure or basic amenities i.e. (right floor, barre, sound systems, mirror) for their ballet or dance clubs, compared to other school clubs like music and robotics.
The average wage for dancers in May 2020 was just 30,000 thousand naira per performance. While these findings may not be surprising, they’re depressing all the same.
Prompted by the glaring needs of the ballet system in Nigeria, the ‘Slum to Stage’ initiative was birthed. Spearheaded by Emmanuel Osahor, this initiative aims to give twenty (20) children & young adults per session gifted in dance opportunities to hone their talents. This support system includes:
- · Dance training and professional tutelage.
- · Financial and mental guidance
- · Provision of dance costumes, equipment, etc.
Per session, we are particular about helping two categories of children. Ten (10) children who dropped out of ballet dance classes/academies because they could no longer afford the financial costs, and ten (10) children who have discovered paths in non-conventional art spaces like ballet, but need the financial and mental push to start their journey on these paths. This initiative is also aimed at bringing a spotlight to the amazing artistry of talented dancers in Nigeria.
THE SLUM TO STAGE EVENT- BUY TICKETS
The initiative will be kickstarted through a Dance & Art Exhibition fundraising occasion scheduled to hold on the 24th of July, 2022. This event is focused on celebrating the gifts of Nigerian children and youth in ballet. It will consist of a dance exhibition event – a series of dance performances from child and youth ballet dancers, followed immediately by an art exhibition which will be home to a variety of beautiful collections – carefully selected images and artworks of performers doing what they love most – dancing. These prints will be on sale at the exhibition. Thirty percent (30%) of all proceeds from the exhibition will be dedicated to developing child and youth ballet dancing in Nigeria, through the measures stated above.
Among our esteemed guests will be the young ones who will get to experience the beauty of ballet performances, getting to see who they will be with time, effort, and a healthy support system.
DONATE BY JULY 30TH
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