Ballet is a global art form, with top dancers hailing from around the world. Wherever you go, a plié is a plié, regardless of the language spoken. Still, it's not everyday that you hear about a classical ballet dancer from India.
Amir Shah, a 15 year old from a low-income neighborhood in Mumbai, hopes to change that. According to a GoFundMe page created by the teen's teacher, he's only been studying ballet for two years. Still, the ambitious dancer has been granted something countless students could only dream of: admittance into American Ballet Theatre's prestigious Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School.
While ballet training is scarce in Mumbai, Shah found Yehuda Maor, a committed teacher and mentor at a school called The Danceworx. Maor's professional resumé includes performing with The Royal Ballet and Israel's Bat-Dor Dance Company.
Now, Shah is currently raising money to supplement his training expenses in New York City. In the campaign video, he appropriately mentions his idol: wunderkind Daniil Simkin, the ABT principal and international star who has no shortage of online footage for budding artists to study (or for us to drool over). In the video above, Shah goes through class combinations and even performs Ali's variation from Le Corsaire.
This isn't the first time Shah has received international recognition for his talents. He's also been invited to train at the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC, as well as the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre. We're excited to keep an eye on Shah as he takes the next step in his ballet journey.