Ujima Magazine — Step 'N Motion Dancing For a Purpose
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China Smith: A Local Hero
Sonia Galliard

BAllet Afrique hosted a cocktail reception in honor of their Founder and Executive Artistic Director, China Smith, in December. The event was held at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center. World music was the backdrop as guests from around the State of Texas and the local community mingled, enjoyed refreshments and visited with Smith and other members of this professional dance company. During the evening, Dusty McCormick presented Smith with a Proclamation from the City of Austin which celebrated her positive impact on the lives of youth in Austin and her recognition as a Local Hero by Oprah’s O Magazine in their December 2012 Issue. Karen Valby, a parent of one of Ballet Afrique’s Dance Academy students, shared with the audience a personal account of why Smith and Ballet Afrique are so important to her child and her family.

Smith expressed her genuine appreciation of this acknowledgement and shared her spotlight with company dancers, parents of her students, and community supporters. Smith also raised awareness about Ballet Afrique’s Crowdfunding Campaign to facilitate expansion into a new facility of their own which will include adequate equipment, studios and a theater to broaden the scope of its educational programming (www.indiegogo.com/balletafrique). The focus is on building a legacy where children’s talents can take flight, Smith unveiled the floor plan of the space that she envisions.

For more information, please email info@balletafriqueaustin.org or visit www.balletafriqueaustin.org.