In cooperation with the South Korean edition of The Big Issue, the global newspaper on homelessness, the Seoul Ballet Theater now offers weekly ballet classes to the newspaper’s vendors, according to a report from South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.
The purpose of the ballet program is to help Big Issue vendors develop confidence. In addition to priming the physical body, each class gives participants a forum in which they imagine themselves at work in their dream jobs – then move around the ballet studio as though they’ve already landed them. And, according to Big Issue sales team manager Byung-hun Ahn, the classes give the vendors much-needed community:
By talking with tutors, volunteers and fellow vendors, participants get the feeling someone is out there cheering for them, which can be a huge driving force for pressing on with life.
Since The Big Issue arrived in South Korea in 2010, several participants in the weekly ballet classes have transitioned off the streets and into homes.
And as if that’s not reason enough for celebration, some of the vendor-dancers will perform in the Seoul Ballet Theater’s production of The Nutcracker this December.
Read more: For Homeless Men, Ballet Becomes a Dance To Embrace Life (Yonhap News Agency)