Happy feet: Mumbai welder’s son gets accepted in prestigious New York ballet school

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By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 8, 2017 4:37 pm

Shan is one of the first male ballet dancers from India to reach this level of classical ballet. (Source: Go fund me)

It’s not every day that a teenager from Mumbai gets accepted to world’s most prestigious ballet institute. Amiruddin Shan is all set to make a mark in global ballet scene, making India proud by being one of India’s first professional male dancers. The 15-year-old artiste secured a berth at the American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School in New York City for a one-year pre-professional course. However, there are series of hurdles for the talented prodigy.

It’s almost impossible for his father Jalaluddin Shah, a welder and his mother Jannatunisha, a homemaker to raise the massive fee for his training. With a family of five to sustain, it’s extremely difficult for the welder to raise approximately $29,000 (around Rs 19 lakh).

The Sanpada kid was always interested in dancing and through his talent even secured a scholarship at Danceworx Academy of Performing Arts. The Bandra-based studio offers dance scholarships to a couple of deserving students each year and Shan qualified in 2015, a Mumbai Mirror report added.

Watch his fund-raiser campaign video here

It was here that international Ballet Master Yehuda Ma’or spotted Shah two years ago, and life took a positive turn for the dancing wonder. When Ma’or met Shan, the youngster was pouring all his energy into hip-hop. One look at the arch of Shan’s feet the ballet master knew the kid was born to be a ballet star and this asked him to join his ballet class.

Shan with his mentor, internationally acclaimed ballet dancer Yehuda Ma’or. (Source: Go fund me)

Ma’or took him under his wings, saying, “Amir could achieve great heights as a classical ballet dancer and be a major star. He has never pursued ballet as a dance form, but it’s remarkable how its language came to him so naturally.”

It’s not the first time, the talented dancer received invitations from foreign schools. His mentor informed that he has been invited to study at the Joffrey Ballet School and Oregon Ballet Theatre School as well, but couldn’t go due to lack of funds. Ma’or also stressed that Shan must attend JKO if he wants to put India on the ballet map.

So, now the young dancer has pinned all hopes on his city — Mumbai and its people. They are trying to raise funds for the class that is supposed to start from September this year. MA’or has also started a fund-raiser at Go Fund Me and hopes that people would come forward and help the kid on the basis of his merit.

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