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Pearl Of Great Price

From a very early age, dance was part of the daily life of Grimaldo Silva, a young man born on September 7, 1994 in the railroad suburb of Salvador (BA). Coming from a family of musicians and dancers, from the time he was very small he was already showing his talent by going on stage where his father's band performed.

Grimaldo - or Gui, as he likes to be called - cultivated his relationship with dance, whether it was at family celebrations or at the traditional June festivals, there he was, dancing. But it was at the age of 10, when he started to participate in church activities, that the young man had his first experience as an artist: in a parish event he was chosen to represent Jesus in a choreographed presentation, and that opportunity transformed his life.

His love for dance flourished, as he saw, in art, an opportunity to connect with God.

In mid-2005 his mother invited him to take classes at the NGO where she worked, the so called "Ballet Hope Project", which, years later, was renamed "Ballet Art". Grimaldo accepted the invitation and there he was able to discover a whole new world which gave him hope and the certainty that ballet was, indeed, a life mission. There, he met other young people who, like him, were enchanted by art and dance.

In fact, ballet gave Grimaldo the opportunity to transform his dancing into art and to present the world with his gift, but his journey was not an easy one.

When he was still young, he suffered from prejudice at school and at family gatherings, in addition to the rejection from his father, who did not help pay for his classes. Everyone said that ballet was "only for girls"... they were wrong!

It was his mother who, despite the difficulties, with no steady job and little money, always defended him from bullying and did everything so that Grimaldo would not leave ballet and could follow his dream.

In 2011, he took his first international exam at the Royal Academy of Dance and earned the certification desired by every dancer who dreams of pursuing a professional career in the art. Soon after, in 2012, he was invited to be part of the teaching staff of the "Ballet Art" project, since for him it was a dream to teach other young people and children.

"The project was of such importance in my life as a whole, it formed me to be a good man and gave me the opportunity to grow professionally. {the project} always believed in me, even though many times I didn't believe in my own ability... Then, in the year 2021, I passed the entrance requirements for the professional course at the FUNCEB dance school, an institution of the state government of Bahia that has as its objective to form professional dancers with knowledge in various areas of dance... With this knowledge, I want to add even more to the learning of the students of the Ballet Art project", said Grimaldo.

Today, besides being a teacher, Grimaldo is also responsible for the costumes, scripts, and many other roles that he is proud to perform. His story inspires us and helps us to believe that the world can be a place with less prejudice, more love and compassion, and that art is, for many, truly a "pearl of great price".

Kindly translated by Sister Debra Farwell.

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