Mission & Values
"In 2004, I first visited South Africa as a guest instructor. During that stay, I taught ballet classes for a program called Dance For All (serving underprivileged youth in the South African townships) as well as for the University of Cape Town’s School of Dance and the associated Cape Town City Ballet Company. On this trip, I witnessed firsthand how classical ballet training can affect social change in a country where widespread poverty, violence and crime still pose serious threats to children and adolescents. The principles inherent in the study of ballet, including self-discipline, perseverance, respect for the self and the integrity of the body, are all transferable into the daily lives of the students who are fortunate enough to be involved in such training. Furthermore, the resulting employment opportunities have proven to be an avenue out of poverty for more than a few South African young people."
KRISTINE ELLIOTT, Founder and Director
THE MISSION of Gugulethu Ballet Project is to bring the art of classical ballet to the children and youth of South African townships. Through the study of ballet, including contemporary forms built upon classical foundations, children and youth learn personal discipline, respect for themselves and others, artistic expression, resilience, and focus.
Building on more than a decade of positive experience, Gugulethu Ballet Project has extended opportunities for exceptionally gifted youth from South African townships to study on scholarships in the United States and pursue professional careers. Such success stories inspire the next generation, especially as young professionals return to their communities to mentor and teach.
Gugulethu Ballet Project is a 501(c)(3) organization and gifts are tax deductible as allowed by law.