Durban - Grade 12 pupil Angel Brown’s golden steps have earned her a scholarship from the American Academy of Dance for its 2023/24 Summer School in New York.
This comes off the back of her gold medal at the Performance Awards for Betty Blake Ballet School.
Angel, a 17-year-old matric pupil at Maris Stella School, said she was shocked to receive a scholarship and gold medal as the Betty Blake Academy of Dance Performance Awards was her first performance awards in a long time.
She competed against more than 40 people.
She said her ballet journey started when she was 5 years old. After four years of ballet, she took a break as she immigrated to Qatar, where she stayed for six years.
“When I came back to South Africa, I found myself missing ballet and in 2022 I decided to go back to it, even though I felt I had lost most of my technique.”
Angel said her mother was the biggest influence in her ballet career because she noticed her talents and passion from a young age and continually supported her throughout.
“Ballet has taught me both discipline and ambition. If you want something, you have to work for it and you have to invest your own time if you want to improve. I learnt it’s never too late. Your results will reflect your hard work and determination and even if it doesn’t, you have to keep working. You don’t always have to be first,” she said.
Angel’s mom, Feroza Brown, said she couldn’t be more proud of her daughter and her achievement. She shared how Angel’s passion from a young age led to this moment.
Brown said: “By the time she started, I could tell she had the willingness to learn more. She would practise a lot at home. I am not surprised because she achieves whatever she sets her mind on.”
Angel’s ballet coach, Betty Blake, said she’d been coaching for 50 years and first came across Angel when the girl was 9.
Blake said Angel asked if she could resume training in 2022 after returning from Qatar.
Blake echoed Brown’s sentiments about Angel being a hard worker.
“She’s determined, hard-working and achieves whatever she sets her mind on. She has a deep passion for ballet and dance in general. She’s graceful, very talented and always eager to improve. She puts all her heart into her dancing.”
The Independent on Saturday