There is nothing else that makes Chelsea Wewege as happy as ballet does. “I am truly myself when I dance, yet I become somebody completely different,” she says. “When I dance I feel alive.”
This passion for ballet has meant that Wewege received a full scholarship to the American Academy of Ballet Summer School of Excellence in New York for two years in succession (2014 and 2015). She also achieved gold with distinction for two consecutive years at the American Academy of Ballet Performance Awards, and a distinction for the Advanced 1 level of the Royal Academy of Ballet exam.
Earlier this year, Wewege — who is just 16 — left her home city of Durban to join a full-time performing arts school in Cape Town. A few months later, she received an email from the prestigious London Central School of Ballet, informing her that she had been accepted into their full-time programme, based on her preliminary audition video. Wewege and her family are currently trying everything from hosting fundraisers to enlisting the help of online crowdfunding to enable her to take up this opportunity. “It is a huge step of faith as I have definitely not got enough funds to pay for the course, however, I believe that the best way is just to take this move with a lot of courage and a sprinkle of enthusiasm, because once I am in London training full time, there are more financial opportunities that I will be able to apply for,” she says.
When she’s not dancing, Wewege is busy studying via correspondence, determined to complete her schooling. Her ultimate dream is to join a world-class ballet company and perform as a professional ballet dancer. — Fatima Asmal
Help here: backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/chelseas-dancing-dream