Michaela DePrince, the ballerina whose extraordinary trajectory from Sierra Leone war orphan to international performer was featured in the film First Position, is visiting South Florida from Sunday through July 17. DePrince will teach master classes and appear at several events at BE Dance Studios in Miami Gardens.
DePrince, whose mother starved to death and who saw one of her caretakers murdered by soldiers, fell in love with ballet after seeing a magazine with a photo of a ballerina at the orphanage where she lived. She was adopted by an American woman at age four, went on to win a scholarship at American Ballet Theatre and is now a member of the Dutch National Ballet.
DePrince, who told her story in the memoir Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina, has been featured in a number of stories and media reports. Like Misty Copeland, who recently became a principal dancer at ABT, DePrince’s talent and story of overcoming obstacles has garnered fans outside dance and brought attention to the lack of black ballet dancers.
All events will be at BE Dance Studios, 17560 NW 27th Ave., #118, Miami Gardens, and are free except for the July 16 master class, which is $35. A screening of First Position followed by a reception is from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday. On Monday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. , DePrince will talk about Taking Flight and sign the book (bring your own copy). Tuesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m., she’ll teach a Young Dancers’ Master Class (ages 5 to 11) followed by a mini-performance. On July 16 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. she’ll teach the Dance Master Class to trained dancers ages 12 and up. A “Dance & Decadence” mixer and party wraps up DePrince’s visit on July 17 from 5 to 8 p.m.
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