Thereza Aguilar, a ballet dancer is the creator and director of the Association Dançando Para Não Dançar. She began her first steps in Rio de Janeiro with the teacher Tatiana Leskova and after that she has studied five years at the State Ballet School of Berlin, located in oriental Germany. Thereza worked in the Company “Tanztheatre” in Hamburg/Germany until the director from Ballet of Cuba invited her to come to his company. So she specialized herself on dance there for three years in Ballet of Camaguey and State Ballet of Cuba.
When she returned to Brasil in the early 90s, inspired from the experiences that she had in Cuba to deal with orphan and very poor children, she created the Dançando Para Não Dançar.
In the end 1994, with the help from resident association of the slums Pavão-Pavãozinho and Cantagalo, they realized the first ballet test for children, who were interested in being a professional ballet dancer. On this date 250 children were present to compete for 40 places to build the first class. Up to here, the Dançando Para Não Dançar was born.
Than came the first institution of support. In February 1995, the project sends six children from Cantagalo and Pavão-Pavãozinho to take test in the Balletschool of The Theatre of Rio de Janeiro Maria Olenewa. They were approved in this school, which was early only visited from rich people and families with high states. By the way the press in Rio de Janeiro started to spread the project nationally.
In a little over a year the project has opened the doors in another two slums, Rocinha and Mangueira. Thereza Aguilar, the director tought the children the classical Ballett technic in rooms from the resident association or also in sport halls from state schools near the slums.
In 1996, there were more 12 children approved in the ballet school of the State Ballet. This year was an especial mark of the history of the project. The Dançando did the first performance of classical ballet in a slum. Ana Botafogo, first dancer of the State Ballett, walked up on the mountain of the Slum Cantagalo to dance with the students of the project and by the way to show your art and populize the classical ballet with this social project.
During years there were a lot of work. The effort and insistance call the attention of a support Petrobras Distribuidora, in 1997, which decided to help the project financially through the Law of Incentive for Culture, from the Ministery of Culture. This partnership made it possible to improve the services for the kids and to expand the project to others slums.
Another mark of the project history was the performance in the end of 1997 because the stage was built under the Bridge of Mangueira. A place where the Samba and Carneval comes from, but now was place for classical music. One more time Ana Botafogo danced with the project and receives the title as maid of honor of the project Dançando. And the film maker Walter Salles the best man and sponsor.
In in 10 Nivember 1998 the Association Dançando Para Não Dançar was opened. With the aim to expand the horizon where the project acts and to dedicate more in the social integration from the youths, who were living in danger situations in the slums of the city.
Beyond the ballet classes, contemporary and music classes had started. And the project could also offer a social and educational support with private lessons and informatic; as well as medical treatment, dentist, psychologist, social assist and speech therapist also for the family.
The project wons the contest from BNDS “Transforming with arts”, in 2002 and in 2005. As a price it became a financial support for performances in different public places of the city Rio de Janeiro during 2003/2004 and 2006/2007. Here was the Cia Dançando Para Não Dançar born and today it has a professional status and had performed 91 Balletshows from 2004 to 2007, in its first national tour.
In 2004 became the homage from Rio de Janeiro city for the work that has been done with the communities and slums. The director and dancer Thereza Aguilar was honored with the Pedro Ernesto medal, an important price granted by the the local councilor. In 2005 was gratulated with the Tiradentes medal by the legislative assembly of Rio de Janeiro.
The project has been builting a solid work in the social, educative and cultural areas, and uses the classical Ballett disciplin to help the education development of the children and their families. In this context, two subprojects have been created: the “Dançando in family” and the “Dançando with culture”.
In 2006 the project became the price “Aims for Development from Millennium” (ADM) in Brasília from the president of the country. This contest’s aim is to appreciate and recognize people other NGOs which realize social works for the society against the hunger and poverty. The project was recognized as a partner in the war for the social inclusion, which 188 countries have signed in 2000 to prioritize the end of hunger and extrem poverty until 2015.
It was also honoured by Ministery of Culture with the Price of Culture, in 2011 and with the price from Journal O Dia – “Proud of Rio”, in 2012.
The Association received a building from the government of Rio de Janeiro to be used as a school for the children. The Balletschool of the comunities Dançando Para Não Dançar is located in the city center. And a professional team have been working all the week with responsibility to give the best for the children.
Actually, the Dançando is working in fifteen slums, beyond the school, which attends 1600 children and youths, between 5 and 21 years old.
Dancers from the project were accepted in auditions from big international companies: Dance Theater of Harlen (New York), State Ballett Berlin, Cia from Theater Landsbuhe -Sachsen/Dresden, Cia Leipzig, State Theater Schwerin, Company Theater Dortmund in Germany. In Brazil: Center of Mivement Deborah Colker, Ballet Stagium, Cia from Corpo and Cia Animã.
The Dançando Para Não Dançar has also his own repertory as also his own choreographies, including parts of classical Ballets – Coppélia, Paquita, The Sleeping Beauty, Swanlake, Nutcracker, Carmins Burana. Contemporary Dance: Gabriela Ritmos Amados, Pintando o 7 com Portinari, Floresta do Brasil, Nada Além (Mario Lago and Custódio Mesquita), Flash Mobile “Aquele Abraço (Gilberto Gil), Urubu Malandro (Pixinguinha), Kizomba (Luiz Carlos da Vila), Favela, Brasil Alfabetizado, Raízes do Brasil, Salve São Francisco, etc.
Beyond the Petrobras Distribuidora, the Dançando counts with the support of Fapperj; of the State Givernment of Rio de Janeiro; of VideoFilmes; of the Ministery of Culture, through the Law of Incentive for Culture. From Brasas English Course and State Ballettschool of Berlin.
The Dançando Para Não Dançar directed more than 20 youths to train and spezilize itselfes in companies abroad and more than hundred youths in schools and companies in our country.
In this long period of partnership with VideoFilmes of Walter Salles, the best man and sponsor of the project, all the student could stay abroad because of his support. This partnership has began in 1999 and is still today persevering to achieve the same aims.
The project has won many difficulties to help this students to continue being abroad to built a better future, and ex- students have become first dancers and soloists in different a companies in Germany, in USA, Switzerland and here in Brazil. Despite many difficulties, we could overcome all of them because of the support from the film maker.
There is a fundamental feature of the project that is not always mentioned: beyond opening the door to give opportunity for poor children to have contact with Ballet and other kinds of dance, it is a place where they feel themselves appreciated. The idea of citizenship is a big part of the Dançando.
“In Brazil, the situation of the society is so bad, that sometimes we have the feeling that it can’t get better, only worser. We feel like impotent and hopeless. A project like the Dançando para Não Dançar brings us exactly the opposite feeling. It makes us believe that it is possible to transform our country.” These are the words of our sponsor Walter Salles, who has made it possible that discovered talents from the slums in Rio could make their career in important companies abroad.
The students benefited from this partnership were:
1999 – Jéssica Antunes and Luanda Silva (Pavão-Pavãozinho and Cantagalo) the first students who travelled to Germany. They studied one year in the State Balletschool of Berlin. And today the daughter of Jéssica is a student of this project.
2000 – Francisca Soares and Bárbara Freire (Pavão-Pavãozinho) travelled to Berlin.
Francisca stayed three years in the State Ballettschool of Berlin. When she returned to Brazil, she had finished traineeship as a dancer and now she is working in a company of Flamenca dance. Bárbara finished the course in the State Ballett School of Berlin in five years, she lives in Germany and has been the first dancer on companies as Rostock, Schwerin and Oper Dortmund.
2002 – Márcia Freire (Cantagalo) travelled to Cuba for a training on the National Cuba Ballett. When she returned, she took part with Júlio Francisco Cézar(Pavão-Pavãozinho) in the Brazil Oper, whose director is Fernando Bicudo. They became the first professional dancers of the Dançando Para Não Dançar.
2003 – Paulicéia Borges and Marcelle Monteiro (Mangueira) travelled to Germany to study in the State Ballett School of Berlin.
2004 – Márcia Freire got a work contract to Ballet Stagium in São Paulo, where she is still living.
2005 – Júlio Cesar moved to Switterland to work as a choreographer
2005 - Daiane Batista, from Rocinha, went to the State Ballett School of Berlin and when she came back, she signed her contract in the Cia. Deborah Colker.
2006 – Ronan Clemente (Mangueira) studied in the
State Ballett School of
Berlin and was approved in the University of Arts in Germany.
2007 – Ingrid Silva (Mangueira) did a training in the Group Corpo, Belo Horizonte/MG, and after that she got a contract in the Ballet of Harlem in New York (USA), where she still lives.
2008 – Fernanda Duarte (Rocinha) did a training on the Group Corpo(MG) and began the Faculty of Dance in the UniverCidade.
Paulicéia Borges and Viviane Alves (Vidigal) got a contract in the Cia. DeAnima Contemporary Ballett and continue their career in the Youth Company Deborah Colker.
Luan Donato (Mangueira) and Márcia Freire did one more training in the State Ballett School of Berlin.
2009 – Ana Paula Oliveira, Fernanda Duarte, Jorge Assunção and Samara Pereira did an audition for the Municipal Theater from Rio de Janeiro. It was the first time that students from Dançando competed for a work place in the MTRJ.
Jorge Assunção was approved in the Youth Ballef of Rio de Janeiro, from Dalal Achcar.
2010 – Two more students began the Faculty of Dance in the UniverCidade, Ana Paula Oliveira and Natália Lopes.
Vanessa Duarte got 100% free in the Faculty of Fisical Education, in the same university.
2011 – Fernanda Duarte and Maria Moraes travelled for a one-month training in the State Ballett School of Berlin.
2012 – After five years in the Balletschool of Berlin, Luan Donato (Mangueira) got a contract as solist in the company of the Theater Landesbühne Sachsen -Dresden/Germany.
– Samara began the faculty of dance in the Univercidade for free because they support the project.
2012 – Samara Mello and Mayara Alves travelled to Berlin for a training to become Ballet teacher during a month.
2012/2013 – Two students were approved to study for four years in the State Ballett School, Débora do Nascimento Goulart and Maria Moraes.
Pauliceia Borges began the faculty of dance Angel Vianna with 50% discount, granted for the project. She became a professor of the project.
2013 – Ronan Clemente Silva got a contract in the Balleft Leipzig/Germany.
2014 – Débora Goulart got a contract in the Friedrichstadt-Palast Berlin/Germany.
2015 – Maria Moraes was approved in the faculty for secretary foreign languages Friedrich-List Schule in Berlin and will end her course in July 2017.
2016 – Raisa Gregório from Rocinha, travelled to France for 2 weeks.
1995 – Pavão-Pavãozinho
1995 – Cantagalo
1996 – Rocinha
1997 – Mangueira
1998 – Chapéu Mangueira
1999 – Babilônia
2000 – Morro dos Macacos
2001 – Morro do Jacarezinho
2002 – Morro do Tuiuti
2003 – Salgueiro
2004 – Santa Marta
2005 – Morro do Borel
2006 – Oswaldo Cruz
2007 – Pequena Cruzada
2008 – Santa Teresa
2009 – Morro da Mineira
2010 – Balletschool from comunities(center of the city)
2011 – State School Monteiro de Carvalho (Santa Teresa) and creche Cantinho Feliz
2012 – Abrigo Casa Viva and creche Aspa and Metodista
2013 – Japeri, Morro do Telégrafo and Cerro-Corá
2014 – Educandário São Cristóvão and Morro do São Carlos, in the creches
2015 – Duque de Caxias – Municipal School Monteiro Lobato and the creche in Morro do Borel- Raio de Sol
In 2004 became a homage from Rio de Janeiro city for the work that has been done with the communities and slums. The director and dancer Thereza Aguilar was honored with the Pedro Ernesto medal, an important price granted by the the local councilor.
In 2005 was gratulated with the Tiradentes medal by the legislative assembly of Rio de Janeiro.
In 2006 the project became the price ” Aims for Development from Millennium” (ADM) in Brasília from the president of the country. This contest’s aim is to appreciate and recognize people other NGOs which realize social works for the society against the hunger and poverty. The project was recognized as a partner in the war for the social inclusion, which 188 countries have signed in 2000 to prioritize the end of hunger and extrem poverty until 2015.
In 2011 was honoured by Ministery of Culture with the Price of Culture and the price from Journal O Dia – “Proud of Rio”, in 2012.
In 2015 honoured in the IV Festival of Dance and Movement Art of Rio – Edition 2015, through the Laurent Productions& Events directed from Betina Góes and Claudia Moppe Events & Designer.