Poor people dance?

A Philippine ballet school helps kids defy gravity in many ways.

There's something intrinsically beautiful about ballet. It's so graceful, the dancers so poised, so powerful.

But with costly lessons and attire, it's out of reach for the average Filipino.

And truth be told, many of us probably think it's a luxury anyway, and that if you can't afford it, you just shouldn't be dancing. Right?

Ballet Manila thinks differently.

Led by the Philippines' most famous prima ballerina, Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, Ballet Manila offers a dance scholarship that provides free ballet education to disadvantaged students.

Called Project Ballet Futures, the programme offers those in public elementary and high school a chance to be trained, to get food and transportation, and a chance to choreograph a brighter future.

Jessa Balote, Jamil Montibon and Raymart Ramos are just three of the programme's students who are defying gravity in many ways.


Find out how you can help more students like Jessa, Jamil and Raymart through the Ballet Manila Foundation.

Studio photos by Elmer Castor
Text and additional photography by Aurelia L. Castro

This story makes you feel

You May Like

Photo

Not your ordinary superwomen

For International Women's Day, we celebrate those who are changing lives.

Text

What you didn't know about volunteering

How to volunteer without getting hurt and becoming jaded.

Video

Breakfast on a mountain of trash

In a Manila landfill, a couple offers kids respite from hunger and freedom to dream.

Text

Your snobbery stinks like my cheese

When race and class get in the way, things start to smell bad.

Inspire Me

Join the Conversation