A BSOD initiative bringing dance lessons to children in Western Africa.

Earlier in 2016 word of my Online Ballet Studio lessons reached a community in Port Harcourt, West Africa.  Pastor Davids Emmanuel sent me a simple video clip of a local girl, Perla (16), performing her version of ballet.  Her talent and passion was overwhelming!  Her story unfolded, she was 16 and out of school.  No prospects.  No future.  

OK, so I hear you asking questions...isn't Western Africa notorious for scams?  

I sent Perla access to my online ballet lessons along with ballet shoes and dance wear.  Friends donated books, and a tablet to watch the lessons on.  Perla's family has no electricity, let alone a computer.  However Pastor Davids agreed to help her.

Pastor David's daughter, aged 12 quickly became firm friends with Perla.  They practise ballet together at every opportunity.  Other children in the community noticed them dancing and became increasingly fascinated.  

Meanwhile my friends and in Australia raised $2000 to send Perla back to school to finish her final year.  She starts next week.

Pastor Davids and his wife Rita, a university educated literature teacher, set up group ballet lessons in their church for the school holidays.  Over 30 children came to join in the online lessons which were projected onto a screen. 

The exciting culmination was a dance concert on the 3rd September 2016!  I hope you enjoy the footage below.

The next step for this project is to establish a quality school of dance for these children.  There are no ballet teachers in Nigeria.  So I plan to train Perla to become one!  I am embarking on a fundraising plan to bring her to Australia in 2018 to commence an intensive ballet training scholarship at my school in Melbourne.

Friends have started donating ballet shoes.

When she returns to Nigeria, she will be equipped to run classes for the children.  Ultimately bringing all the incredible benefits of dance to her community.  Joy, purpose, friendship, fitness, commitment, discipline, celebrations, achievement...




Yesterday a sensational Dance Presentation was held in Port Harcourt, Nigeria! I am overwhelmed to see what is happening there. There exists a great passion for dance arts, however there are no ballet, jazz or contemporary dance teachers!! So, the Online Ballet Studio has been providing video lessons :) Pastor Davids invited me to speak to the families via video message shown on a projector screen. Our next goal is to train Perla Anthony to become a dance this space!

Posted by Josephine Woodberry on Saturday, September 3, 2016