Naleli dances her way to New York

The 11-year-old bal­le­rina is rais­ing funds for trip

Sunday World - - Life -

At only 11-years-old Naleli Hlalele is an in­spi­ra­tion to her peers.

The lit­tle bal­le­rina who dances for the Joburg Bal­let School in Braam­fontein is rais­ing funds to travel to the New York Bal­let School, where she may study for up to four years if all goes well.

Born in Clayville,Tem­bisa, Hlalele now lives in Oliphants­fontein near Midrand in

Joburg. The lit­tle one says she was a grade R pupil at

Zwartkop Chris­tian School in Cen­tu­rion when the bal­let com­pany vis­ited and handed out pam­phlets about their satelite schools.

“I had never heard or seen of this thing called bal­let be­fore this. I then de­cided to sign up and my par­ents told me if I get hurt and come cry­ing I must not com­plain,” she gig­gles.

It took her a year to master the ba­sics. Now a grade 5 pupil at Wierda Park Pri­mary, she says bal­let is not child’s play once you start wear­ing points, which she was in­tro­duced to this month.

“It is painful – very painful. But to see dancers like Kitty Phetla do­ing so well it in­spires me to han­dle the pain. I would like to make this my life and dance un­til I’m a very old woman.”

Hlalele, who has danced in pro­duc­tions such as Cin­derella and Car­men, says she looks for­ward to the sum­mer school in New York where she will be trav­el­ling with her grand­mother.

“I hope I can raise enough money to at­tend the sum­mer in­ten­sive pro­gramme. We haveon­lyraise­doverR1 000 and I need more than

R400 000 to make it a re­al­ity. Ini­tially it will be for a few weeks but if I’m good enough I can stay longer.”

To do­nate funds: https://go­fundmesa.co.za/fu­ture-sa-bal­le­rina-naleli-hlalele-goal-r400000

Au­di­tions

Joburg Bal­let School and Satel­lite

Schools will have au­di­tions for as­pir­ing young dancers. Clos­ing date to reg­is­ter chil­dren is Fri­day 23 Novem­ber. De­tails can be found on https://www.joburg­bal­let.com/learn/au­di­tion­dates

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