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Siphe November

Siphe November

Arts Award

Award Sponsor BrandEQ Agency

From dancing in the streets of his little hometown of Zolani in South Africa, to become Principal Ballet Dancer in the National Ballet of Canada. Siphe’s story is so inspiring that has been explained in a documentary: Beyond Moving. It chronicles November’s South African roots in Zolani, where he and his four older siblings danced kwaito, an Afro–hip-hop style, in the streets. Fiona Sutton, a local ballet teacher spotted their talent and roped them into her ballet classes.

Sutton introduced that kid to a visiting Canadian couple, Scott Mathison and Kelly Dobbin, who after seeing his talent engineered an audition with Canada’s National Ballet School. Just at 11 years old, Siphe November left Zolani and his family and moved to Canada with the Mathison-Dobbin family. 10 years later, in 2021 he becomes Principal Dancer of the National Ballet Company of Canada. He also becomes a choreographer for the NBC and starts collabortions with other artists and brands.

November is contributing to a new chapter to the NBC’s history as a person of color: he is only the second Black principal dancer, after Kevin Pugh in NBC’s 70-year history. He aims to create a platform that facilitates black talents to have an easier access to opportunities in ballet: ‘I’m focused on continuing to speak on equity, diversity and inclusion in the dance world. I want to ensure that future Black dancers and children have the opportunity to enter welcoming institutions.”