The Big Dream of Young Ballerinas from the Largest Slum in Nairobi City

These children practice weekly after classes with their ballet teacher Mr. Wamaya in this old class.

Life difference in youths is experienced through ballet classes attendance is what brings our the realization of their dream of being young ballerinas.

During weekdays, mostly on Wednesdays, a certain ruined cemented classroom that is Nairobi’s neighborhood, is changed into a ballet studio, generally for training after classes end. They do cleaning and clear the benches all over. Before their instructor arrives, a certain number of about 20 girls wear ballet clothes of different colors, i.e. pink, purple and blue, while waiting for their leader, Mr. Mike Wamaya. The girls dance to their tune of aired classical music.

Fredrik Lerneryd, a photographer from Sweden, living in the City of Nairobi joined Mr. Wamaya two times of their Wednesday ballet classes, for the past 18 Months experiencing truly the journey of these young ballerinas. Lerneryd, a 31 year old says the girls were shy at first before getting used to him later. He took pictures of them especially while training in the room.

The divergence presentation of Lerneryd is drawn back to the story, as he says that the ballet dancing is classified to upper standards, and he did not expect to witness it in a place like Kibera. He kept emphasizing that it’s a hidden big dream compared to ordinary life in Kibera.

The young women in Lerneryd’s photographs are One Fine Day and Anno’s Africa supported. He made his own pie by inviting the talented young girls for lunch to his home, supported by his household friends, and their was enough pizza dough and toppings for the guests. He also at a time invited Wendy and her family for an Ice Cream. He says is great to provide just as little. When still a child, Pamela Adhiambo at 16, was so passionate and inspired on watching ballet on television. The ballet idea stuck in her, and after a dozen of years later, Anno’s Africa came over to Spurgeon’s Academy, offered pointe pair of shoes which she loved so much. With total support of Artists for Africa, collaborating with Anno’s Africa, Pamela joined a Boarding school in Nairobi, training five days weekly at Dance Centre Kenya, a professionalized dance studio.

The ballet idea stuck in her, and after a dozen of years later, Anno’s Africa came over to Spurgeon’s Academy, offered pointe pair of shoes which she loved so much

This dance has transformed Pamela’s life completely, which made others to be inspired by her. After each frequent breaks from school, Pamela returns back to Kibera and maintain the practice at her home backyard, under Mike’s tutelage supervision.

Lerneryd has learned a lot about these tender girls as most of them express themselves through the dance, showing why they are so passionate and proud of being young ballerinas. They do the dance with all their zeal, rising above the ground, meditating to move from circumscribed estate of Kibera.

“The dreams of kids growing up there are just the same as anywhere else in the world. Their dreams are just as true as anywhere else in the world.” #Rewordit


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