Four years ago, 17-year-old Kamal Singh was completing school on one side, and on the other side was starting his first ballet class. Now he is 21 years old. Kamal Singh, son of a rickshaw driver, is the first Indian dancer selected by the English National Ballet School for its professional trainee program.
Kamal now lives in Chelsea, hundreds of miles from Vikaspuri in Delhi. Kamal, who spent his childhood in the streets of Vikaspuri, is seen in a dance studio in Battersea along with 12 more students and is seen doing ballet while following social distance.
It is the dream of all these students to work in a big international ballet company and reach the role of principal there. All of them want to learn the dance by following in the footsteps of Nureyev and Fontaine.
Kamal says, “I was happy when I came to know that I had been selected in English National Ballet School, but I was sad because I knew that my father would not be able to arrange fees for me.”
“But my guru told me that instead of worrying about money, I should only focus on dance.”
One day, for the free trial class of Kamal went to Imperial Fernando Ballet Company present in Delhi. That day, Fernando had a feeling that a very talented young man was standing in front of him. But Kamal could not afford ballet training. His house was also far away from ballet school and he used to take two hours to reach there.
Kamal’s father used to do two jobs to run a family and in such a situation, ballet tuition was like a luxury for him. It was impossible for him to arrange fees.
In such a situation, it became the responsibility of Fernando to convince Kamal’s parents to find a way for Kamal. He gave Kamal a room to live in his house in Delhi and gave free training for three years. Later, he also helped Kamal to collect fees to enroll in the prestigious English National Ballet School and go to London.
The fee for a year-long course at London’s Ballet School is £ 8,000, or Rs 787,000. The cost of living there is also different. It was impossible for Kamal to get such a huge amount, but for this, the guru and the disciple took the path of crowdfunding.
In a few weeks, Kamal collected the necessary 18,000 pounds to go to dance. Till now they have accumulated 21,000 pounds and they are getting more donations from people.
Kamal says, “I have received a lot of support from the Indian community. After reading my news, there are many students who want to learn ballet dance from my mentor in India. They have been inspired to learn dance.”
“I hope that seeing my achievement, more people in India would like to choose ballet as a career.”