Ballerinas bring beauty to life. Not only in the way they dress, but in the way they glide so effortlessly across the stage.
For Stephanie Kurlow, a 14-year-old from Australia, being a ballerina was all she dreamed of since she was just 2-years-old. That was, until she found herself torn between her passion for dance and her devotion to her faith.
Because Stephanie chose to wear her hijab to class, multiple dance schools in her suburban town would not accept her.
"The hijab is so important to me because it's a part of who I am and represents the beautiful religion that I love," she told Mashable Australia. "If people have the right to dress down then I have the right to dress up and my hijab is my expression of love to my creator and I believe it covers my body but not my mind, heart and talent."
So, inspired by Muslim women pushing through boundaries, she decided to not let discrimination deter her dreams. She started a crowd-funding campaign through LaunchGood to cover her tuition, supplies, and competition entry for one year. Her hope is that with the proper training she can one day open a school for girls of all backgrounds to come and practice.
"I believe that one day all children and young people will have an opportunity to perform and create, without sacrificing their values, beliefs or looks and my campaign is one step closer to achieving this."
We couldn't be more excited to see Stephanie pursue such big dreams at a young age. Share her inspiring message with friends and let us know what you think!