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Written by: Paola


Ballet Theatre Afrikan is delighted to announce that Penelope Thloloe, Director of Satellite Schools Projects for Ballet Theatre Afrikan, is one of the winners of the Amstel salute to Success Award.

On the night of shooting the final episode, the Communications Manager of SAB Michael Farr announced that Amstel was so impressed with the candidates that they decided to triple the investment. R100 000 was handed to 3 winners.

Amstel Salute to Success is a show celebrating South Africans who have made a great success of their lives. They have never compromised and have often overcome great difficulties in their efforts to achieve their ultimate goal. They are now outstanding members of society. Therefore they are not only excelling in their fields, but they remain community minded in their outlook.

The judges, Michael Farr, Communications Manager from S.A.Breweries, Gail Smith, editor of Pulse Magazine and Michael Buckland from Mail & Guardian all agreed that leadership by example, entrepreneurial zeal, sustainability of the project and improvement of lives were the criteria they were looking for in the candidates.

Ms Penelope Thloloe was elected to the Board of Ballet Theatre Afrikan as Director of Satellite projects at the tender age of 24. Penelope has strong roots in the Alexandra community where she has identified the desire within the community to train as professional dancers and teachers.

After having trained with Martin Schnberg from the age of ten, Penelope won a scholarship to Ballet Rambert in London, and successfully completed 18 months of training there. On her return from Ballet Rambert, Penelope danced professionally for Ballet Theatre Afrikan, where she qualified as a ballet teacher in the internationally recognized International Society for Teachers of Dance (ISTD) Cecchetti Branch in 2002. She also serves on the committee of the Johannesburg branch of the Cecchetti Society.

Ms Thloloe has already taken over the responsibility for all BTAs Satellite Schools, (with 250 pupils at present) and more especially has founded the afternoon classes in Alexandra. She started this professional training programme after auditioning thousands of candidates, with a view to producing dancers of the highest standard who can take their places in professional or teaching careers.

Her aspirations appealed to the judges:
We have got the talent but lack the training. Allow me to prepare them for a better life. Enable me to open doors and create jobs with your support and belief. Let me show others that dreams do come true.


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