Victoria Trevino (Mexico)

Victoria Trevino (Mexico)

Five for The Fonteyn

Back in 2010, I founded a small ballet club in the living room of my house in Mexico City. I had my graded RAD syllabus in hand, and so I began dance activities and classes for a few children of the neighbourhood. How could I imagine that the local teenage community was going to unexpectedly become the most fervent followers of ballet classes and RAD examinations? Frankly, it never crossed my mind, but it happened. They arrived to the club and never left.

What I had started as a children’s ballet club became, in just a few years, a youth project: Ballet Joven CDMX (Young Ballet of Mexico City). Boys and girls of secondary school level (12 -15 years old) became my most populated groups. They were eager for information and ready for dynamic challenges that were translated into a ballet class.

Two years later, they were requesting more classes and were inspired to study ballet further into the levels of RAD Vocational Grades. There was no stopping them! And so I just had to follow. Following meant not only teaching, but mentoring, subsidising, supporting and convincing families that these kids were madly in love with ballet, learning swiftly, educating body, mind and spirit, loyal to a career in dance and producing an encouraging wave of artistic awareness in the local community. Following meant that the responsibility to achieve a solid platform for the dancers to grow and evolve substantially into a dance career would take a financial toll that unfortunately, the families of dancers could not afford, and some would not care to afford. Our charity had to emerge once and for all to secure the studies of many boys and girls that simply did not have means to continue without help. I found myself many times providing a few pesos for the students to travel back home on the bus. Some students took a two-hour journey back home from the studio.

Support started to arrive in the shape of audiences for Ballet Joven’s performances. It was the young audience that was the keenest of all. Young people supporting other young people. Fresh hope, a proactive attitude for art and enjoyment through dance and music. The response was impressive. The audience members were following the journey of these dancers too. I firmly believe our public is deeply moved by the courage, dreams and hopes of young dancers. The vast majority had never been to a ballet performance and our Ballet Joven had been their introduction to the art form.

Today, with ten years of work, we assembled a generation of teenagers that grew together dancing, learning and achieving high results in RAD examinations. It was so exciting to have our first boy qualifying for the Genée International Ballet Competition in Hong Kong (2018), then a boy and a girl for the Genée in Toronto (2019). Along comes 2020 with the magnificent centenary celebration of the RAD, and a brand new Fonteyn International Ballet Competition in sight! The dancers put all their might into it and astoundingly produced a team. Our very modest school saw five dancers (one boy and four girls) gaining Distinction in their Advanced 2 examinations, within the age range to qualify for the 2020 competition. Hurrah for Mexican dancers! Five for the Fonteyn! We had achieved the unimaginable for our school, for our country. VIVA MEXICO! VIVA BALLET JOVEN! We are off to London! We have our team! And then, COVID-19 showed up.

Following meant keeping spirits up, teaching daily online and keeping students safe. Understanding an overwhelming worldwide health/economic crisis and the inevitable postponement of an intensely awaited event. Our young dancers and their passionate race to represent was to be put on hold. Again, I must follow.

What first started with a printed RAD syllabus – I honestly never thought I could see a student committing to the end – is today the catalyst that has given structure to many ballet students that are truly inspired to live, experience opportunities and learn skills that only an event such as the RAD’s Fonteyn can provide. I know for certain that none of these kids have travelled to Europe, three of them have never even travelled outside of Mexico. Economically their families struggle and rely on the scholarships Ballet Joven can provide them. We have fought hard to arrive for the opportunity. Our charity follows in the tough quest of gathering funds for support of five dancers whom have a unique historical opportunity to represent a small school in Mexico, and have encouraged lots of people to look at the ballet world as an influential and positive opportunity for teenagers growing within the art of dance in today’s Mexico.

May we all follow through and find ourselves together, next year, at the Fonteyn in the company of our five dancers and their proud and passionate journey. Five for the Fonteyn! May we all follow and witness their might.

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Read more about Victoria Trevino

17 Dec '21
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17 Dec '21

RAD teacher features in Forbes' list of the 100 most creative Mexicans

Victoria Treviño, the director of Joven de la Ciudad de México, has been chosen in recognition of her work in bringing dance into communities. After…
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