Buffalo ballerina now national ambassador

Posted at 5:34 PM, Mar 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-26 08:46:04-04
Amirah Muhammad started playing the violin at the age of 2 and started taking ballet when she was 3. It wasn't until she was 13 when she realized she could be a professional ballerina. 
"I saw the Dance Theatre of Harlem perform live on stage here in Buffalo and I was like wow I can actually do that," said Muhammad. "It was very inspiring for me. Seeing all black dancers up there. You never see that; it's not common."
She's right, brown ballerinas with curves, muscle and coarse hair aren't common in traditional ballet. Performers like Misty Copeland, who's mentoring Muhammad, are forging a way for a generation of diverse young ballerinas. 
"There's so many stereotypes against that but they did it anyway," said Muhammad. 
Muhammad said she can do it too and she's well on her way. She's now one of the national ambassadors for Brown Girls Do Ballet. 
"Their mission is to provide scholarships to brown girls, to provide mentors for brown girls and more opportunities because sometimes we may not be exposed to them." said Muhammad. 
Now she'll travel across the country promoting diversity in ballet. She was accepted into four ballet schools to train this summer so her schedule will be jam packed. 
"I'll be headed to the Dance Theatre of Harlem in July and Manhattan Youth Ballet," said Muhammad. "I'll be getting lots of training this summer. I'm very excited."
Last year she trained at the American Ballet Theatre
Her dad is Henri Muhammad who owns Muhammad School of Music in Buffalo. He said he couldn't be more proud. 
"Very proud," said Henri. "Even from the time she started violin she's always been very motivated her and her younger siblings and it's just an outstanding opportunity for her."
She has scholarship covering some of her training - well over $10,000 - but not all of it. She's performing in her own fundraising concert with her dad and his school of music on May 15th at the Aloma D. Johnson Charter School in Buffalo
Muhammad said she's looking forward to showing her community what she can do. 
"It's called Beethoven and the Ballerina we'll be doing many variations and many new works," said Muhammad. 
She also has a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of room and board, Pointe shoes, food and other essentials she'll need while training in New York City this summer.