Teenager Stephanie Kurlow Dreams Of Becoming The World's First Hijab-Wearing Ballerina

02/02/2016 12:02 | Updated 02 February 2016

Like many young girls Stephanie Kurlow, who had been dancing since she was two, dreamed of becoming a ballerina. But, in 2010, she stopped performing after converting to Islam, as she thought she could not be both a Muslim and a professional ballerina.

"There are no facilitations or services targeted at Muslim girls," the 14-year-old explains. "In this day and age there is a lack of facilitations for youth who are disengaged or of a different religion or race."

stephanie kurlow

Recently, however, Kurlow, from Sydney, has decided to continue pursuing her dreams.

"So many inspiring changes are happening to the world.. African-American ballerinas- Michaela De Prince and Misty Copeland, the first Hijabi Emirati [weight] lifter Amna Al Haddad and the first Hijabi news anchor on American television Noor Tagouri - that have motivated me to pursue my passion."

stephanie kurlow

Kurlow is now trying to raise $10,000AUD to reach her goal of training at a ballet school.

"I want to encourage everyone to join together no matter what faith, race or colour," she writes on her crowdfunding page.

stephanie kurlow

"By your investment in me I will be able to receive my qualifications and diplomas so that I may open a performing arts school that caters to children and teenagers of different religions, races or backgrounds.

"I believe I am here to inspire and motivate youth who feel isolated or disengaged due to labels and restrictions, to pursue their dreams no matter what."

stephanie kurlow

Kurlow has already raised more than $1,000 of her target.

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