Unique ballet about child sex trafficking coming to San Antonio

San Antonio teen dancing in the ballet ‘honored’ to spread awareness about trafficking

SAN ANTONIO – Ballet and sex trafficking are two things you wouldn’t expect to be associated with one another. However, a faith-based ballet company out of Chicago is bringing its unique performance, “Reckless,” to San Antonio, where one of the dancers was born and raised.

A few years ago, San Antonio teenager Rachel Walker saw Ballet 58 perform at the Lila Cockrell Theatre and was impressed by the issues they took on.

“That’s part of the reason I joined this company. I’m somebody who doesn’t want to shy away from the hard things,” Walker said.

She grew up dancing with Ballet San Antonio and then Premier Academy. She’s now been dancing professionally with Ballet 58 for two years and is heading home in November to dance in the ballet about sex trafficking.

“She used the story about Hosea and Gomer from the Bible to inspire the storyline that you see in Reckless,” said Lauren Diaz, executive director of Ballet 58.

Diaz said the artistic director who choreographed “Reckless” has always seen the importance of sex trafficking awareness.

“I think many people are aware of sex trafficking, but they just brush it off as -- ‘This doesn’t really apply to me.’ So this brings flesh to sex trafficking right in front of you,” Diaz said. “It will really give you a fresh perspective on how you as an average person can make a difference.”

Diaz said every city where they perform, they partner with a local organization and donate part of their proceeds. In San Antonio, that organization is Ransomed Life, which serves exploited children and offers educational community training about the prevalence of trafficking.

“It’s happening in every corner of San Antonio. It’s happening in Boerne, Texas. It’s happening in New Braunfels, Texas. It’s happening where you wouldn’t expect it,” said April Molina, director of communications for Ransomed Life.

Molina said everyone should know what trafficking looks like and how to report it.

“There are predators in New Jersey reaching girls here in SA. The common denominator with trafficking is the phone. It’s online. Any kid or teenager that’s online -- on a phone, on a computer -- is vulnerable to be preyed upon,” she said.

That’s why Ransomed Life says it works hard to educate the community.

“You can’t fix something you don’t know about. We want to be invited to your church, your PTA, your kid’s high school, to your neighborhood -- letting people know about it,” Molina said.

The ability to be both a ballerina and an activist has given 19-year-old Walker a true sense of purpose that she can’t wait to share with her hometown.

“It’s a dream come true,” she said. “I’m actually turning 20 there with my dream company, in San Antonio with my new family and my actual family. And then representing an issue that is so downplayed in our society -- it’s not brought to the surface as much as it should be.”

There will only be one show downtown at the Lila Cockrell Theatre at 7 p.m. Nov. 6. Ransomed Life staff will introduce the ballet and will be available afterward.

“We’re going to have a table set up with a QR code. They can scan it, immediately go to our website. If people want to volunteer, they can sign up to do that. If they want to donate money, they can sign up to do that. If they want to connect us with someone or invite us to present at their school or place of business or their church, they can do that,” Molina said.

For more information about child sex trafficking, how you can spot the signs, and how to report suspicious activity, visit the Ransomed Life website. The education hub section has video presentations on all those topics and more.

The website also has information about the showtimes and location.


About the Authors:

Courtney Friedman is a KSAT anchor and reporter. She has an ongoing series called Loving in Fear, confronting Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She's also covered Hurricane Harvey, the shootings in Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe, and tornadoes throughout Texas. She’s a California native and proud Longhorn who loves calling SA home.