Mnikesa Whitaker

Craig LeMoult

In New Haven, a public school teacher is using ballet to help girls tackle all kinds of challenges in their lives. And she’s doing it while dealing with a serious challenge of her own.                       

About 30 teenage girls wearing black leotards stand in lines on the stage of the Fair Haven school in New Haven – one foot slightly in front of the other, their arms extended.

Kesa Whitaker watches from auditorium’s floor, calling out ballet instructions.