Community Builder: Penelope Thloloe

Founder: Kasi Ballet Theatre

Why is Penelope a Community Builder?

Having grown up in Johannesburg’s Alexandra township, Penelope knows what it’s like to be teased about wearing pink tights. But these memories only spurred her on to fulfill her dream of becoming a professional dancer – a career that gave Penelope many opportunities to explore the world and experience new cultures.

So when Penelope took her final bow as a professional dancer, she decided it was time to create the same opportunities for the children in “Kasi”, the township where she still lives.

Today, Kasi Ballet Theatre is more than just a ballet school; it’s a place where young boys and girls can realise their potential and chase their dreams – and let Penelope worry about the how and the when.

In her own words .

“My hopes and dream for ‘my children’ is that they will not have limits when it comes to choosing their careers but, because they have been exposed to opportunities, they will be able to achieve what they’d like to achieve in life.”

Fast Facts

  • Kasi Ballet Theatre comprises a ballet training academy, a youth dance company and a professional company.
  • Kasi Ballet Theatre makes use of all the dance forms at one point or another, with ballet being the basis.
  • One of Kasi’s young dancers was accepted into the Oprah School of Excellence. The company has danced for many dignitaries, including South Africa’s first lady, Zanele Mbeki.

How can I help?

Penelope has set up an “adopt a dancer” programme, where individuals and communities around the world are encouraged to sponsor a dancer and form a relationship with a special child in Alex. To find out more, visit Kasi Ballet Theatre.

Story published on SAinfo on 5 August 2008.
Source: Brand South Africa