Like any sport, the dance world can be competitive.
But Next Generation Ballet dancers Jake Tribus and Jonathan Fahoury hope to show that even though dancers may compete against each other for titles, they can still support each other without judgement or criticism.
Tribus, 16, from Raleigh, N.C., and Fahoury, 14, from Boulder, Colo., are part of group of dancers from around the country trying to inspire kindness and acceptance through their non-profit organization Artists Giving Hope.
“Kindness changes everything is our motto,” said Tribus, “we want everyone to understand and accept one another regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc..”
Founded by Tribus and fellow dance competitor Christina Ricucci, in March, the group performs and offers master classes to raise awareness and help support like-minded charities. They recently offered a master class at a studio in Birmingham, Ala., which raised approximately $500 for Dancers Fighting Cancer. Their next goal is to raise enough to fulfill a dance-related wish for Make-A-Wish.
Tribus and Fahoury met in 2013 at the New York City Dance Alliance convention.
“It’s a week-long national dance competition and workshops,” said Tribus.
Tribus won the National Teen Male division, and Fahoury won the National Male Junior division. As title winners, they toured the country with the organization, performing and assisting faculty.
“It was a great experience teaching me how to be more of a professional,” said Tribus.
Both dancers recently moved to Tampa with their families to train at the Patel Conservatory.
“In three weeks, I improved so much. I wanted to improve more,” said Fahoury. “I know I want to do this as a profession...so I want to be as well trained as possible in various styles.”
Tribus, whose background is predominantly in contemporary and jazz, joined NGB to improve his ballet technique.
“I’ve never had a ballet class with all men...I can already see my technique growing in just the month and half I’ve been here,” said Tribus. “Definitely having multiple classes a day filled with kids of the same passion and same caliber...it pushes me.”
Tribus will play the Mouse King, lead Russian and lead Arabian in Next Generation Ballet’s upcoming production of The Nutcracker. Fahoury will play the lead Chinese and a Russian dancer.
Come see Tribus and Fahoury in this year’s The Nutcracker, Dec. 13 and 14, 2014 at the Straz Center.