Alwanat: The First Ballet School In Upper Egypt!

When Upper Egypt comes to mind, one thinks “conservative”; at least that is the common misconception. To those of you who are lucky enough to call themselves Upper Egyptians like me, know that the truth is far from that. You don’t have to take my word for it, because proof comes in the form of Alwanat School of Ballet and fine arts in the center of Minya.

“the name ‘Colors’ signifies the diversity of people and programs we offer”, Marco Adel, Founder of Alwanat

The first of its kind in Upper Egypt, Marco Adel, the founder told us how the school was a youth initiative involving eight others, all of whom come from different study backgrounds and share a love for Art, adding that, “the name ‘Colors’ signifies the diversity of people and programs we offer”, he tells us. Music, painting, sculpture, theater, gymnastics, cinema, photography and etiquette are only some of the classes accessible to students aged 4 and up.

Many people objected claiming that a school offering dance is a form of vice, while others warned that it is a waste of time. It was after they saw results that these views gradually changed”, Marco Adel

Two years ago they started thinking that they wanted to do something special in Minya. So they began with a free initiative, which included doing street art, mural paintings and photography until they secured a place. That is when their difficulties began, “our main problems were finances and being accepted by the community. We had work opportunities in Cairo, but we wanted stay and change the misconceptions about Minya”, Marco tells us. They had not thought that it would be this difficult, “it was harder than we imagined. Many people objected claiming that a school offering dance is a form of vice, while others warned that it is a waste of time. It was after they saw results that these views gradually changed”, he explains.

“we dream that one day we can empower youth to create a career out of their hobbies, changing society’s conviction that a hobby is for your free time only”, Marco Adel

Marco and his team are widening their circle, “we are currently visiting rural villages to discover new talents. We’re working on our second annual film festival which is attended by major stars”, he says. This is all at the end of the day done with the aim of empowering the youth and changing society, “we dream that one day we can empower youth to create a career out of their hobbies, changing society’s conviction that a hobby is for your free time only”, he explains, “to achieve this, we work on setting art galleries to display our students’ enormous talents, we help them get noticed by people who can further their career hoping that one day they get international recognition”.

The Minya School of Ballet and Fine Arts is an incredible achievement from a group of hardworking youth who simply dared to dream!

 

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