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Mumbai's Ballerinos | 101 Heartland

If you thought ballet was just for girls, think again.

Manish Chauhan, age 21, and Aamiruddin Shah, age 15, are two of Mumbai's most gifted ballerinos. But they didn't always want to be. In fact, Manish spent most of his childhood shying away from dance. But after honing his talent, there's nothing else he would rather do. But their journey has not been without struggle. Aamir used to start his training at 4am, before heading off to school at 7. Manish has spent nights at the railway station to make it in time for his classes.

Their years of hard work have paid off, under the guidance of reknowned Ballet Master Yehuda Maor at Danceworx Academy. The two have caught the eye of heads of prestigious ballet schools, including the Joffrey Ballet School, New York, as well as the Oregon Ballet Theatre, Portland. The pair have now been granted a full year's scholarship to the Oregon Ballet Theatre. They will join the theatre in January 2017.

Outside the metros and beyond the urban jungle live the sons and daughters of India’s heartland. This series tells their stories. 101 Heartland celebrates both unique communities and individual tales of hope, struggle, and reform. From the village of bouncers just outside Delhi to the fascinating story of Ram Kumar Tyagi, once a wanted man but now a coach for aspiring female wrestlers, 101 Heartland tells stories for the heart, from the heartland.

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