Ballet Hoo! index
Countdown to the performance
Programme 1 summary
Programme 2 summary
Programme 3 summary
Programme 4 summary
Meet the BRB team
Meet the participants
What the project has meant to me
A day in the life...
The story of the ballet
How you can get involved with dance
Press and media coverage of the project
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Denise Pullian, who works for Youth at Risk, leads personal-development classes. She is very pleased about the boost which Ballet Hoo! is giving these youngsters.
'The major benefit is in self-confidence,' she observes. 'I want these young people to see that they can succeed in life. Sometimes when we're taken out of our normal situation, we can actually see it more clearly.
'Once their self-confidence gets taken away, young people won't put themselves forward because they don't believe they'll be accepted. Here they're being exposed to opportunities that in their everyday lives they don't have access to.'
Denise, an American who lives in Chicago and also takes such courses in the States, is a great believer in the tremendous effect art can have on youngsters. 'Art can transform people's lives,' she enthuses. 'It offers a great freedom of expression and allows us to be accepted.'
Her classes - in which the young people are encouraged to voice the worries that are on their minds - have a powerful impact on the pupils. How would she explain her teaching techniques?
According to Denise, 'all it is, is listening and talking. There is no magic wand, no miracle cure - "here's your pill, now your life is working." If only it were so easy, I'd pop one of those pills myself!'
What, finally, does she hope the young people will take away from Ballet Hoo!? 'I hope they leave with a belief that they're extraordinary. They lead lives that they think don't matter. One of the biggest things this course can give them is the conviction that that is wrong: these young people can make a difference.'