At the tender age of three, Naiomi Bielak already knew she wanted to be a ballerina when she grew up.
“To be a dancer is really tough. I mean, rewarding but tough,” said Bielak, ballet student and founder of Smiles for All. “I go through a lot of hard work, not only in my training in school, I train after school, I go to the gym, I do whatever I need to do to make sure that my body is able to do what I need to do on stage and in class.”
Bielak’s love for ballet has taken her all the way to New York. She’s a student at the Joffrey Ballet School, being trained in all forms of dance with a foundation in classical ballet.
“I’ve been given ballet, it’s my passion, it’s what I do,”Bielak said. “Not everyone has the opportunity to do it and so why not share it with everyone.”
And share it Bielak has. Since she was a little girl, she’s been helping to give back through the charity her mother created called Crafting for a Cure – donating craft kits to hospitals to ensure children are having a positive experience during a difficult time.
“I think I started visiting hospitals with my mother since the dawn of time,” Bielak said. “ I was always there, even when my brother was there because he was a patient.
“I would always be there too crafting and crafting with the other kids. It was incredible.”
But as time went on, Bielak wanted to do more and take what her mother started to a new level. She founded “Smiles for All.”
“We have a team in Toronto, we have a team in New York, and we also were trying to get a team in Texas,” Bielak said. “What we do is go into hospitals as ballet dancers and we perform for children.”
Not only is Bielak a hardworking aspiring ballet dancer looking to make her mark on the world, she wants to make a difference to the children and families she visits in hospitals in Toronto, New York, and most recently, Israel.
“Honestly, people say that being on stage is the best thing. I think being on stage is one of the best things. I think another amazing thing is having the feeling of going into a hospital and performing for children,” Bielak said. “You’re face-to-face with a child or a parent and to see their emotional response to you and how you’re making their day that much better – is so empowering.”
Providing that brief distraction is what truly matters to Bielak, believing that laughter and smiles are the best medicine.