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Cape Town Outreach Programme

In classrooms and community halls scattered around the townships of Gugulethu, Nyanga, Langa and Khayelitsha, DFA teachers move aside desks and chairs and sweep the floors in preparation for the hundreds of children making their way to dance class. The safe, structured environment of these daily dance classes offers a haven for these children who – without other extra-mural activities to occupy them in the afternoon – might otherwise be on the street where they could easily fall prey to influences leading to involvement in drug use or petty crime.
 
Many of these children, ranging in age from three to young adults, come from extremely poor home circumstances. Most do not have stable home environments. While some have single parents, others are in the care of siblings or a grandmother. There are those who even have to contend with an abusive situation or alcoholic parents.
 
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                                                                                   Photo by Lenore Cairncross

 

Under the leadership of Cape Town Outreach Manager Hope Nongqongqo, DFA’s Cape Town Outreach Programme is teaching about 300 students in these township communities, as well as in Athlone. DFA’s classes – offering ballet, African and contemporary dance styles – have grown in popularity in the townships and are attracting many children who want to become something in their lives, but also those who simply come for fun. As a result of this growing interest, DFA will be offering classes in three new schools in 2012, reaching about 100 more children.
 
A hallmark of the outreach programme – which is reflected in the name Dance for All – is that, regardless of their ability, children from the age of three to young adults are welcomed into DFA’s free classes. An exciting development is that a lot of young boys have joined and they are so talented and keen.
 
The Cape Town Outreach Programme has a dedicated team of teachers that consists of Margie Sim, Bruno Wani, Allison Hendrick and Grant Puchert, as well as founder students of DFA Hope Nongqongqo, Lorraine Ndindwa and Nobuntu Nqolase.
 
• Students selected to participate in DFA’s cluster of Specialised Dance Programmes – African Contemporary, Ballet and Contemporary Ballet – are drawn from the Cape Town Outreach Programme.
 
 

                                                                                     Photo by Frances Knoesen
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