Dancing dream dashed

This year was supposed to be key for promising Chilean ballet dancer Sofia Shaw. But her hopes were dashed by the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic.

Shaw had made it into the capital city Santiago's municipal ballet school last year. The 19-year-old had told herself before the pandemic struck that she was going to give it her all this year, and really improve.

Originally from Chillan city in central Chile, Shaw was able to move to the capital thanks to her perseverance and the support of her mother, who works as an in-house maid to finance her daughter's dream.

But in March, as the start of classes approached, her life came to a standstill. "They said quarantine would only last two weeks. I was hopeful," she told Agence France-Presse.

But online classes are just not the same for the dancer, who has even installed a barre in her small apartment to practise. "Sometimes, I lift my legs and bang into the wall. But at least I can do the basics."

Chile has faced one of Latin America's fiercest coronavirus outbreaks, but case and fatality rates have declined steadily over the last two months, Reuters reported.

For now, her only hope is that life will soon go back to a new normal where she can continue to pursue her dream of dancing.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2020, with the headline 'Dancing dream dashed'. Print Edition | Subscribe