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World Class Ballerina Dances for Children

British charity dancer Mara Galeazzi teaches dance to children

Dancing for the Children is a Britain-based charity that raises money for underprivileged children in Africa - the money raised goes towards fighting disease, setting up schools, and helping children explore the joys of dance. The charity was founded by Italian ballerina Mara Galeazzi, who told VOA how dance can unite people all over the world, rising above cultural, linguistic, and geographic borders.

Through dance Mara Galeazzi tells the story of the brutalities faced by people all over the world.

Galeazzi's charity, Dancing for the Children, helps young people to do the same - express their own lives through movement. "Sometimes kids have their own mind, their own lives, and their own psychological problems maybe sometimes. And for me going to a ballet class was like expressing myself and letting all these feelings out," she said.

Galeazzi's charity teaches dance to children in Africa. She has been fascinated with the continent since childhood. "Since then I always believed that I could have done something for them - whether I be a dancer or a nurse or something, but Africa has always been in my heart," she explained.

Galeazzi rehearsed these dances for a recent benefit performance in London. She and other Royal Ballet dancers plan to perform and conduct ballet workshops with young people in South Africa next year.

Dancer Gary Avis says dance is free from linguistic barriers. "Movement, it speaks louder than words, I think sometimes, and I think we're lucky that we have this chance to be able to express ourselves within movement," he said.

Three years ago Galeazzi and other dancers from the Royal Ballet went to Pretoria and Cape Town to dance with children there.

She says watching the emotion the children expressed through their movement was an inspiration. "They dance in front of us a number and it was quite incredible. Just the feelings they give is really special. And the children as well they performed in front of our little group that went to Africa and we were gob smacked [astounded]. I mean they were amazing… just to see them dancing and then afterwards they were very happy," she said.

Anger and despair are some of the emotions expressed by Galeazzi when she performs this dance - but also she says, dignity, hope, and the endurance of the human spirit.