Who Knew? How could anyone have imagined that young girls living in rural town Copey would become local celebrities? How special is this small town where there is very little to do each day if you are a girl? The big news is these young girls are heading to the big stage to perform in The Nutcracker scheduled to be performed later in the year. What are the odds these young girls living in the remote part of their country far away from the more urban life style and cultural opportunities afforded to those in larger cities, having received the training and developed the skills that would result in as many as eight of the ballet students getting this unusual invite to perform? This is absolutely Fantastic!
Now for the rest of the story.
Eve Solomon, our key contact at the Learning Center and person in charge of the daily education of the students, is a great Peace Corp Volunteer. But that is not all she is. She is a trained ballet dancer and received training at the Marin Ballet School in California for nearly 13 years. She brought her love and passion for ballet to Copey to share with some very unlikely students.
Eve’s desire for ballet has opened the doors to new experiences for the students. In Eve’s own words, “In Copey, there are few extra-curricular activities, especially for girls, who are often expected to care for their younger siblings. Ballet builds confidence and physical awareness, and a sense of self-worth and elegance”.
This is one more example of how this small town is positively impacting young lives and one of the key reasons the “Friends of Copey” tries to bring together our collective talents to support this Learning Center and the community.
I want you to get to know Eve better. She is very special herself and I strongly recommend you read her story contained in the link below. This will deepen your insight into the challenges young people face in small rural Costa Rican communities. Marin Ballet Blog.
Eve has been conducting evening ballet class each week for her students and in May, exposed her students to a live screening of the Bolshoi Ballet in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. The Bolshoi Ballet is an internationally renowned classical ballet company, based at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia. Eve’s ballet students met with the Ballet director and because of the students’ enthusiasm for ballet, they were invited to audition for the national production of The Nutcracker. Eight students were accepted to dance in the upcoming showing of The Nutcracker. All twenty-four of the Eve’s ballet students will get to participate in the intensive training and preparation for The Nutcracker.
For the next several months, the students will continue their training in Copey and will have to travel to San Jose for Saturday rehearsals. This is a costly project and Eve mounted a very successful fund drive. In a short few days she successfully raised more than $5,000 to cover training, transportation, and lodging costs needed for the weekend travels to San Jose. Her fund-raising success was helped by the Copey community and financial assistance from the Peace Corp at Eve’s request. “Friends of Copey” was informed of the fund-raising effort while we were just wrapping up the campaign to raise money for school supplies. Consequently, we did not provide funds to directly support the ballet project. If additional funds are needed, we will try to support them. Regardless, “Friends of Copey” is contributing indirectly as we believe about seven of the ballet students are Anne Goble Broady Scholarship Fund recipients. This shows we are all involved in the overall educational welfare of the young people of Copey and we are making a difference in a variety of ways.
Learning that in this small and remote town there is a talented ballet dancer inspiring young girls to learn ballet is astounding alone. Learning that the young students are doing so well learning ballet that an international ballet company has found them worthy to be included as part of the performers is truly extraordinary.
There is so much for the “Friends of Copey” to be pleased with and we will follow this project right up to performance night. “Break a Leg!”