Stephanie is an Australian dancer and ballet student, often known as the world’s first Hijabi Ballerina. Kurlow began dancing at the age of two, but had difficulty in finding a studio that catered to her religious beliefs when she started wearing the hijab at the age of nine. This response and struggle motivated her mother to open a ballet academy where she could practice freely.
Inspired by first Hijabi ice skater Zahra Lari was when Kurlow knew she too could become an athlete. She has been awarded the Game Changer Scholarship by Swedish sports brand Bjorn Borg. She has also received a grant to attend the Royal Danish Ballet summer intensive in 2018, and was invited as a guest speaker at Resonation Women’s Empowerment Conference in Indonesia in 2017. Kurlow was featured in Lenovo’s campaign for International Women’s Day, and was also featured in Converse’s ‘Love the Progress’ campaign in 2019, which was aimed to define what being a girl means.
Her goal is to open an all-inclusive ballet studio and performing arts studio in the future, catered to diverse participants.
Artist: Afandi, from Indonesia