At 14, Janis asks for help to get to the New York ballet

Dancer and her father are selling a raffle to travel to Goiânia, where the 1st stage of a festival takes place

Janis de Souza has been dancing ballet since 2017, in Campo Grande. (Photo: Personal archive)

In public school, Janis de Souza Albuquerque discovered ballet in 2017 and since then she has been dancing. Passionate about art, the girl dedicates all her free time to the practice and improvement of dance, because she dreams of conquering international stages. At the age of 14, the Campo Grande trains to represent the State in a competition in New York, in the United States.

But, before traveling abroad, the student must pass the selective that takes place between October 10th and 16th in Goiânia (GO). In the junior category, Janis participates in the YAGP (Youth America Grand Prix) which this year also holds tryouts in four other countries and 25 US cities.

In order to raise funds to cover the expenses of the trip to Goiânia and have a chance to qualify, Janis and her father Alexandre Coutinho, 39, are selling a raffle that will be drawn on October 8.

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A member of Espaço de Dança Suzana Leite, the dancer has been part of the cast since 2018. The previous year, Janis says that she only practiced in public schools. She (the teacher) started to teach simple classes, but really with ballet techniques. I was taking ballet and contemporary classes and then I really started to get to know the technique,” ​​she says.

It didn’t take long for the young woman to be nominated by the former teacher for the current one, Yasmim Salame, 24 years old. Currently, Janis participates in all classes and is also the monitor of the children’s class. In space, she reports that she was sure she was on the right track. “I started dancing very young, but I really got to know what I wanted when I met Yasmim”, she says.

When remembering how she met Janis, the teacher says she saw a lot of determination in her. “She (the teacher) said that she had a dancer with a lot of potential in the public school and asked if I could meet her to give her a scholarship. She was tiny, but I could see that she had a lot of desire and besides that I met her father and saw that he was also very willing. That makes all the difference,” she says.

Ballerina during a performance at the Dança Três Festival. (Photo: Personal archive)

There is no lack of desire to dance in the girl who does not miss the chance to do what she loves. “I like it a lot since I was always very sure. I’ve always come and I’ve always wanted to, so every opportunity I have to dance I’m going. We have danced in several places and even in Praça do Rádio. It was pretty cool,” she highlights.

In order to achieve what she wants, Janis lives a different routine from her peers of the same age. The week is divided between studies and rehearsals, which also take place on Saturdays. Therefore, most of the time, the young woman is wearing the shoes and practicing with one group or another.

It is about these differences in goals and routines that Janis comments. “We see that people our age have other focuses of going out on weekdays in the afternoon when there is no class, they are always with friends or enjoying themselves at home. I hardly see my parents, because I leave early in the morning and come home at night, so it’s very different. You have to have a lot of will, the routine is totally different from the colleagues”, she emphasizes.

Student is the only one of the group to represent the city in Goiânia. (Photo: Personal archive)
Student is the only one of the group to represent the city in Goiânia. (Photo: Personal archive)

In Goiânia, the student is the only one in the class and in the ballet space that will represent the city and try to be one of the five classified. The teacher, Yasmim, explains that YAGP is a very popular festival. ‘They choose a maximum of three to five per age. It is extremely difficult, because there are few vacancies. It’s almost a medical school, if not worse,” she says.

Despite being nervous, Janis guarantees that she is excited to experience the festival. “I am very happy, because the experience will be very good. We will have classes with several important professors”, she comments. The result of the selective in Goiânia comes out on the last day, but the stage in New York is scheduled to take place in March 2023.

Raffle – In all, there are 100 numbers sold at R$30 each. The prize of the raffle is R$ 300 and those interested in buying one or more can contact Janis’ father, Alexandre at (67) 9. 9229-6190

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The article is in Portuguese

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