A Seychellois who left her island home 21 years ago to pursue her dream of becoming a professional dancer has returned and is ready to share her passion with some of the youngest islanders.
Maria Doway returned from the United Kingdom earlier this year and has started her own dance academy on the Seychelles’ second-most inhabited island, Praslin, which is now her home. It was not difficult for her to recruit a group of excited little girls wearing ballet dresses and shoes from as young as four years. They have joined the newly opened Maria’s Performing Art Academy, which started its first class a few weeks ago.
Doway, 39, holds a diploma in Performing Arts which she obtained from the Merseyside Dance and Drama Centre in Liverpool in 1998, after receiving a Seychelles’ government scholarship. She already has experience running a dance academy while living in the UK. The new Maria’s Performing Art Academy is also affiliated with the Dolphin Dance Studio, a staging college based in Liverpool.
This also means that students from Seychelles can participate in summer dance schools in the United Kingdom and guest teachers can also come to deliver workshops in the Seychelles, a 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. Doway also teaches musical theatre, something she said she enjoyed the most during her dance student days.