Kamal Singh of Delhi, India, fell in love with ballet before he even knew what it was.
The first time he saw ballet dancers, it was in a Bollywood film. And the then 17-year-old was so moved by their performances he wanted to join them. Four years later, he’s an incredibly talented dancer — and the newest member of a world-class ballet company!
Kamal’s newfound passion took him to the Imperial Fernando Ballet School, where the founder, Fernando Aguilera, instantly saw his potential.
“I knew immediately he was such a talent,” Fernando told The Guardian. “He was completely flexible, like a rubber. He had a body that was ready-made for ballet by god – he just needed to be taught how to use it.”
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Unfortunately, as the son of a rickshaw driver, Kamal couldn’t afford to pay $47 a month for ballet classes. But Fernando believed in him so much he told him to keep coming back. Eventually, he gave him a scholarship, complete with free lunches and transportation to and from home!
Kamal spent the following years proving to Fernando he’d made a good investment, practicing and studying for up to 12 hours a day.
“He was very dedicated, he worked very hard and he wanted to learn. I taught him for four years, and he never asked for a break, he never missed a single day,” Fernando said.
And all that hard work certainly paid off. While Kamal had started dancing later than most, his breathtaking moves made up for it! Last year, Kamal participated in a summer ballet course in Russia. He couldn’t return this year because of COVID-19, but an even bigger opportunity came his way!
When the English National Ballet put out an ad for male dancers, Kamal applied, though he figured he’d probably never hear back. We’re happy to tell you he was wrong, though — he received an acceptance letter in September! Then he ran into another financial snag. He’d need to pay over $25,000 for fees and living expenses. But once again, strangers came through for him.
Fernando and Kamal created a crowdfunding page, which caught the attention of several famous Bollywood actors. Their donations combined with those of kind strangers raised enough money in just two weeks! Today, Kamal is living his dream of dancing in London.
“I cannot explain how it feels, it is all my dreams come true,” he said. “It’s amazing, I’m enjoying every day. My family do not know much about ballet but they are very happy and very proud that I am at the English National Ballet. I am the first in my family to come to London.”
Congratulations, Kamal! We’re sure that at first, your dream seemed out of reach, but you made it happen!
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