'Ballet in the City' helps to get minorities into dance

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Ballet in the City is all about promoting a popular form of expression, they present professional performances and events but they also help the next generation be inspired to pursue ballet, especially groups who are underrepresented in the dance form.

The organization made a stop in Detroit, and they brought along a ballet star.

Calvin Royal III has been working on his craft since he was 14 years old.

“You don’t just dance on the met stage without having to put in all those countless hours preparing.”

He’s a soloist with the prestigious American Ballet Theater.

“That hard work has opened so many doors for me,” He said.

Although he’s busy perfecting his craft, he finds time to, 

“Be that sort of role model for young kids that may be coming up,” he said.

Here in Metro Detroit Calvin took time to pass off some of his je nai se Quoi to burgeoning artist.

“My gosh I see somebody that looks like me and maybe if I work just as hard I could do that too,” he said.

“The way he dances on stage is very much who he is as a person, warm and generous and giving, he is that role model,” Jessica Wallis said. 

A role model who Jessica Wallis, founder and executive director of Ballet in the City has partnered with to help change the lives of young dancers, especially those of color.

“look no further than Calvin on what an amazing talent could be lost if those students are not given the attention they deserve and the extra push to really say that there is place for you in ballet,” Wallis said.

Ballet in the City had two black American scholarship recipients in 2017 part of the effort to open avenues to classical ballet for those who may not consider it.

Applications open online February 15.