Although she did not aspire to become a professional ballet dancer, Tuany Nascimento never stopped practicing ballet while in Brazil.  Whenever she practiced, groups of young girls always followed her, wanting to learn and emulate her skills as a dancer. Nascimento not only taught these young girls, in 2013 she opened the dance studio, Na Ponta dos Pés, and started teaching young girls ballet.

For Brazil, 2013 marked a time when men and women were rallying together to fight against the prevalence of sexual violence against women.  In 2013, Brazil was in the top ten places for violence against women.  At the time, every 15 seconds a woman was assaulted.  Few wanted to recognize the trauma and violence that women faced in Brazil.

However, eventually, they came together and were able to get the PLC3/2013 bill passed, a bill that recognizes and sets a protocol for sexual violence regulations and procedures in Brazil. The high rates of sexual violence have meant that many young women need places to go to feel safe in their communities.

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Institutions like Nascimento’s ballet studio work to provide this security and support for young Brazilian girls. At this ballet school, there are able to become a part of a community that exists to nurture their talents and abilities. This ballet studio fights against the racism and classism that is normally associated with ballet.  The students do not have to pay to attend. Their only requirement is a report card, which shows that they are passing their courses.

During an interview with MarieClaire,  Nascimento asserted her belief that ballet has the ability to transform a person. Although this studio has only been open for three years, she is already changing the lives of these young girls. She is showing them parts of a world, which these young girls may never have thought existed. Through training these girls in dance, Nascimento is showing them that the world is not limited to the home life that they grew up knowing. Their possibilities are limitless and this ballet community in Brazil serves as a safe haven.

In the studio, the violence, classism, and colorism that may have told the girls that they were not worthy is removed. Instead, they are in a space where they are accepted, loved, and nurtured. I can’t wait to see where this studio will be in ten years, and which one of this young girls will be the next Misty Copeland.


PC: Sebastian Miranda