Stephanie Kurlow: Young Muslim girl hopes to be world’s first hijab-wearing ballerina

She stopped performing in 2010 after converting to Islam but is now dancing again

Charlie Atkin
Friday 12 February 2016 16:43 GMT
Girl hopes to be the first hijab-wearing ballerina

A young Muslim girl is hoping to become the world’s first hijab-wearing ballerina.

After converting to Islam in 2010, Stephanie Kurlow gave up performing as she believed ‘there would be no way’ for her to become a professional ballet dancer.

Now 14 years old, Ms Kurlow has been inspired to take up her dream again, citing the first female African-American ballerinas, Michaela DePrince and Misty Copeland, as inspirations.

She also says she was inspired by Amna Al Haddad, the first Emirati lifter to compete in a headscarf, as well as Noor Tagouri, the first Hijabi news anchor to appear on US television.

She is currently raising money to be able to attend a full-time school and increase her chances of becoming a professional ballet dancer.

Ms Kurlow says her dream “is to train in a Full-Time Ballet School catered to aspiring young girls who want to train 30-45 hours a week so they can become a professional ballerina.’

She also has hopes of opening a school to offer young girls opportunities she herself thought were impossible.

As she explains on her fundraising site, she dreams of opening “a performing arts school that caters to children and teenagers of different religions, races or backgrounds.”

“In this day and age, there is a lack of facilitation for youth who are disengaged or of a different religion or race,” she states.

“I want to encourage everyone to join together no matter what faith, race or colour. To bring harmony and a world of acceptance for future generations.”

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