What if we could change the world dancing?
Perhaps we have never thought about how easy and fun it would be to end poverty through art, not just economically, I mean, it also can eliminate poverty in terms of education, culture, values, and integrity, just doing what many see as an “extra” in their lives, a simple hobby.
This idea goes far beyond the dream of a dancer who wanted to help poor children in her community by doing what she was passionate; this idea is now reality and is changing the world.
Dora Andrade, Brazilian-born dancer, decided to devote her life to help poor children in the community of Fortaleza Brazil. After her return from dance studies in the United States, Andrade began her social work by performing with her group once a week in the peripheral area of her city; allowing people who had never been in contact with art to see high quality dance shows. Shortly thereafter, Dora decided to close her 2 successful academies to devote herself completely to art education of girls in poverty.
This entrepreneur woman decided to use dance to educate girls between 5 and 20 years old, and thus, in 1991 she founded EDISCA (School of Dance and Social Integration of Children and Adolescents), with the principles of discipline, obedience, health , nutrition and the importance of attending school.
And how is this school changing the world?
Dora, the company´s director, shows in her choreographies the social issues affecting the world, like injustice and inequality, presenting shows of great impact and success that led her group to win multiple awards.
Dora’s vision has been fulfilled as the Edisca students have improved their life’s quality. They and their families do not suffer from hunger anymore, they enjoy frequent medical checks and are prepared academically to take their life forward due to the career opportunities and their own dance studies that the school offers, such as dancing in national and international companies, start their own dance schools or teach in other institutions. And so, it allows the snowball effect to happen, in which these girls are the first generation of their families that can offer their children a better life, reducing poverty in their community.
The success of this school has been overwhelming, now it has 239 students, who attend classes 3 times a week for 3 hours, including English classes, art history, ballet and contemporary dance. They can also enjoy benefits such as medical and dental checks for them and their family, a daily meal and transportation and clothing vouchers.
This project would not have been possible without the vision of this entrepreneurial persistence to receive government funds, recruit volunteer teachers and the motivation to bring art even to the smallest person in her community.
That’s why I think that if every person had the firm belief that they can end poverty using their own talents as well as Dora does, then perseverance, optimism, motivation and the struggle to achieve what you want, are not only characteristics of a good entrepreneur, but it may become a lifestyle, one that can change the world.
“Dance can make a more human world, without losing the role of cultural performance. The best thing is knowing that all the girls are well fed, happy, intelligent, and that they can realize their dreams. They have a sparkle in their eyes that is not often seen on other girls, rich or poor. For me, this is the most important “.
EDISCA- “Sagrada” Performance Video:
- EDISCA (2012). www.edisca.org.br
- WordPress.com. MulheresQueBrilham’s Blog http://mulheresquebrilham.wordpress.com/dora-andrade-voce-sabe-quem-e/
- UNESCO (2012). Brasil- Edisca. http://www.unesco.org/new/es/social-and-human-sciences/themes/fight-against-discrimination/education-of-children-in-need/projects-by-region/latin-america-and-the-caribbean/brazil-edisca/
- Osava, M. IPS Inter Press Service (2012). BRASIL: Cuando la danza enseña a vivir. http://ipsnoticias.net/print.asp?idnews=93172