Self-taught dancer teaches ballet to disadvantaged pupils in Lagos

An illustration
An illustration

Every week, self-taught Nigerian dancer Daniel Ajala welcomes in his improvised dance studio dozens of children from a poor district in Lagos to teach them ballet.

The Leap of Dance Academy – which Daniel funds out of his own pocket – has 12 pupils.

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"From my years of understanding and reading about ballet, I learnt ballet is for people who have money, who are from a very high class because ballet is expensive. And in this area, I know we can't actually afford the luxury of ballet or dance education. So I think it's actually a beautiful art to introduce to our people here," says Daniel.

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"It actually helps them to know that this can be done also by themselves - by indigenous people. I want them to enjoy what is happening abroad or in other places," he adds.

For most of these students in Nigeria's megacity, Lagos, this was their exposure to ballet.

Compiled by Phelokazi Mbude

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