Open Letter From A Compassionate Dancer

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Aaron Smyth has been chasing his dream to be a professional dancer for years.

He's travelled the world and seen things people dream of seeing, and now he's putting his skills and talents on display for a good cause.

'Dance For Humanity' is an event inspired by Aaron's time in Ethiopia, and will raise funds for two local charities: Livin and Bravehearts.

Here, he pens an open letter about putting the event together, and his experience in the dance world.

“Earlier this year a dear friend and former dance partner of mine – who is South African born and has been living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for a couple of years now due to her husbands work – decided to host a Ballet Gala to bring culture to the people of Ethiopia and to raise funds to feed 217 children for a year!

She asked me if I would like to come and perform with eight other international guest artists.

Although Addis Ababa is third-world and not on my bucket list, naturally I said yes, as it was for a good cause. The whole experience was the biggest wake up call ever!

For the first time in my life, I felt like I wasn’t dancing for myself... I was dancing for the people who seriously hadn't really been introduced to dance or ballet at all, which felt incredible!

There was no one judging anyone just pure love and joy in the audience which subsequently made me perform at my best. It touched me so much, as the children were so appreciative, it inspired me to produce a 'Dance For Humanity' performance on the Gold Coast in my home town.

Travelling to a country like Ethiopia taught me to never take things for granted. Although these people hardly have enough to eat and no material wealth, they are quite possibly the happiest people on the planet.

It opened my eyes to really appreciate what I have, and to not complain but be present and happy with what you have and just quite frankly make it work. I’ve always wanted to have my own show or performance, and didn’t know how to go about it.

However, this experience made it so clear to me that performing with a group of artists that inspire me, whist giving back to humanity at the same time, is the correct path to go down.

I left home at the age of 17 to chase my dream to be a professional dancer. Since then, I have been a company member with the American Ballet Theatre II in New York, The Royal Ballet in London and The Joffrey Ballet in Chicago.

I am a six-time medalist in international ballet competitions. I’ve danced for Royalty, the Obamas and beautiful people like you, as I now travel the globe as a guest principal artist. I’ve also danced on TV, appearing on two series of the 'Got Talent' franchise, coming third in Australia and the quarter-finals in America.

I am also the founding director of my brand The Smyth Collective which my sister Natalie Smyth (Naturopath and Nutritionist) and I create together by preaching movement, wellbeing and creativity.

In the New Year, I will be making my West End London debut in the new musical 'An American In Paris' at the Dominion Theatre, directed by Christopher Wheeldon, a world-renowned choreographer.

I am extremely looking forward to expanding 'Dance For Humanity' to the world, and our aim is to help as many charities as possible. Whether it is hosting a performance, creating dance films or just getting the 'world to dance wherever you are'.

This magical performance will be starring some of the worlds top talents. Proceeds will benefit two local charities, Livin and Bravehearts. I really hope to see you there.

Dance on."

- Aaron Smyth

'Dance For Humanity' takes place at Arts Centre Gold Coast on 7 January.

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