British dancer Isabelle Brouwers has been taking time out from her performance duties as a member of the English National Ballet to teach Kenyan orphans in Kibera how to dance.
The German born performer, who is fluent in five languages, studied at the Royal Ballet Lower School and English National Ballet School. Although she has lived in Europe, South East Asia and Mexico, she now considers London her home.
It was truly eye opening to have the opportunity to actually enter the heart of Kibera today and see the homes in which the Spurgeons Academy students live… This family of 5 children lives in a tiny tin roofed house hidden behind a network of dangerous filthy alleyways with only 1 bed and no running water, and their father is only employed contractually which means income is unsteady, making it almost impossible for them to get proper medication for their very ill 11 month old twin babies… please help these families in such desperate conditions by Sponsoring a Child – link #GlobalCare #kibera #nairobi #kenya
She appeared in child roles in both Swan Lake and The Nutcracker with The Royal Ballet before joining the English National Ballet in 2014 and her awards include Youth America Grand Prix (2007), Genée International Ballet Competition Silver Medal (2013) and second place Young British Dancer of the Year (2013).
In 2015 and 2016, Isabelle was a finalist in English National Ballet’s annual Emerging Dancer competition.
Talent has no race, no religion, no gender, no boundaries… it’s incredible to see such gifted dancers in this humble remote corner of Kenya 👏 I can’t wait to join the Ballet Club at the Spurgeons Academy today to share a few final pearls of wisdom to the incredibly hard working students and be inspired by their endless tenacity and determination! #kibera #kenya #KiberaBallerinas #aspiringdancers #AnnosAfrica #OneFineDay #GlobalCare
In Kenya she worked with the Ballet Club class at the Spurgeons Academy in Kibera. The Academy is a haven of refuge for the slum’s most vulnerable orphaned children, offering sanctuary to 430 children, providing them with essential food, water, medical care and most importantly education.
Meet this talented Year 2 student at the Spurgeons Academy, blessed with a pair ballet perfect legs and gorgeously arched feet! I definitely see a future #GMArtist here! Allow her to keep pursuing her dream of becoming a ballerina by Sponsoring a Child through this link http://www.globalcare.org/projects/12 or donating to the Anno’s Africa arts charity through this link http://www.annosafrica.org.uk/our-work/ #gaynorgirl #globalcare #kibera #kenya #annosafrica
As well as leading a ballet masterclass, Isabelle is taking lots of essential dance wear which were generously donated by her colleagues at the English National Ballet.
Thank you to all my colleagues at @englishnationalballet for helping me out with dancewear donations! The ballet students at Spurgeons Academy were in desperate need of new dance essentials such as ballet tights, which they collected from me one by one with such humbling gratitude and politeness! #aspiringdancers #ballet #kibera #kenya #africa
Discussing her experience, Isabelle said: “The beauty of the education offered here is that it’s truly tailored to enrich each child’s personal growth, integration into society and creativity. Therefore, as well as essential primary academic education, the children are offered an incredible wealthy of co-curricular activities ranging from football, art, music, acrobatics and BALLET!”
The artistic co curricular activities are funded by the Anno’s Africa charity (in collaboration with OneFineDay.ev) which ‘brings to underprivileged children in Sub Saharan Africa opportunities that are normally beyond the hopes and dreams of most children growing up in some of the most overpopulated and poorest slums in the world.
I even managed to squeeze in a spot of pas de deux with Kenyan talent Joel Kioko! His ballet training started humbly, and soon his great talent was recognised and he went to the US to train, however, during his trips back home, he too loves to help the aspiring dancers at the Spurgeons Academy! Now aged 16, he’s auditioning for vocational ballet schools all over the world to make his dream of becoming a dancer a reality! So incredible to see such a gifted dancer grow and pursue his dreams! #kenya #kibera #dancersofig #gaynorgirl #GMArtist
The programme currently offers an alternative arts education to over 1,700 children across Africa, with classes in 6 major disciplines; Art, Creative Writing, Dance (including ballet) Drama, Music and Circus skills.’
Meet Beatrice, the unbelievably strong inspiring chef who cooks, cleans and cares for the 429 orphans at Spurgeons Academy in this tiny kitchen equipped only with these two wood burning stoves! 💪🏾Tomorrow I'll be heading back to this safe haven of education to help out with lunchtime duties and squeeze in another masterclass with the amazing Ballet Club 😍 #Kenya #Kibera #spurgeonsacademy #givingback #countyourblessings
The Academy is sponsored by UK based charity GlobalCare, through which you can ‘Sponsor a Child‘ which will help organisation to continue offering their vulnerable yet inspiringly hopeful children the most essential needs that most of us take for granted!