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Dancing Against the Odds: Kamal Singh’s Journey from IFBC Delhi to the English National Ballet School in London

In the heart of Delhi, where the rhythm of the city beats to the bustling sounds of daily life, Kamal Singh, a 17-year-old son of an e-rickshaw driver, discovered a passion that was about to change his life and challenge the norms of traditional dance in India. This is a tale not just of talent and dreams, but of resilience, dedication, and the transformative journey of a young man who dared to dream beyond the confines of societal expectations.

A Dream Awakens

Kamal’s story began in an unexpected place: a local cinema, where a Bollywood film, ABCD: Anybody Can Dance, introduced him to ballet—a dance form previously unknown to him. Captivated by the grace and elegance of ballet, Kamal was determined to pursue it, despite the numerous challenges that lay ahead. Coming from a humble background, with his father working tirelessly to support their family, the world of ballet, with its perceived elitism and foreignness, seemed a distant reality.

The Turning Point: Meeting Mario Fernando Aguilera

Fernando Aguilera and Kamal Singh

The pivot in Kamal’s journey came when he stepped into the Imperial Fernando Ballet Company (IFBC) led by the visionary Mario Fernando Aguilera. Fernando, a ballet dancer from Argentina, saw potential in Kamal’s raw talent and determination. Understanding the financial constraints that Kamal faced, Fernando offered him a full scholarship, along with a place to stay, thus removing the first of many barriers in Kamal’s path.

Training Days: Rigor and Resilience

Under Fernando’s mentorship, Kamal embarked on a gruelling training regimen, practising for up to ten hours a day. This intense training was not just about mastering the technicalities of ballet but also about breaking down the cultural and physical barriers that stood between Kamal and his dreams. Fernando’s role was crucial in this transformation, serving not only as a teacher but also as a mentor who believed in Kamal’s potential against all odds.

From Delhi to London

Kamal’s dedication and Fernando’s guidance bore fruit when Kamal was accepted into the prestigious English National Ballet School,  in London, making history as the first Indian to achieve such a feat. This milestone was not just a personal achievement for Kamal but a moment of pride for India, showcasing the country’s emerging talent in the global arts scene.

The Power of Community and Crowdfunding

Kamal’s journey also highlights the strength of community support. Facing the daunting costs of training abroad, Kamal turned to crowdfunding, finding allies in celebrities and the Indian community at large. This collective effort not only funded his education but also underscored a powerful message: when a community comes together, dreams that seem impossible can become realities.

A Professional Dancer on the Global Stage

Today, Kamal Singh is not just a dreamer; he is a professional ballet dancer, working with a prestigious London Ballet Company. His journey from the streets of Delhi to becoming a professional dancer in one of the world’s most competitive ballet environments is a narrative of perseverance, talent, and the unyielding support of mentors like Mario Fernando Aguilera. Kamal’s success serves as an inspirational example for countless young artists around the globe, proving that passion and hard work can indeed pave the way for achieving one’s dreams, regardless of their origins.

A Beacon of Hope

Kamal Singh stands as a beacon of hope and inspiration, not just for aspiring dancers but for anyone pursuing a dream against the odds. His story is a testament to the idea that with passion, resilience, and the right support, barriers of socio-economic status, cultural differences, and traditional norms can be overcome.

Kamal’s journey from the streets of Delhi to the stages of the world is a reminder that art knows no boundaries, and dreams, no limits. Let his story inspire you to chase your own dreams, no matter how distant they may seem.


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