Youth, energy and enthusiasm, along with talent, dedication and skill, is what gives InSPIRAtions Youth Company a special kind of magic – a tangible vibrancy that simply sizzles when they’re on stage.
These are the up-and-coming dance stars of the future and they’re getting the chance of a lifetime to receive top-class training and have their skills honed, across diverse dance forms, by former professional dancers who are passing on their experience and knowledge to a new generation.
As a result, the group is uniquely positioned to offer a range of scintillating performances in a variety of styles. Their adaptability and versatility are essential ingredients for any aspiring dancer and this translates into an exciting and innovative repertoire of old and new choreographic works that lends itself to a range of performing situations – from professional theatre productions to corporate events. Alternatively, works can be specially choreographed for particular occasions.
InSPIRAtions Youth Company was created in June 2010 to provide a platform for talented, dedicated dancers who have a passion for performing and are keen to pursue a professional career in the theatre. When DFA’s professional InSPIRAtions Dance Company was put on ice in 2009, we decided that a performing group made up of DFA senior students would replace it as the public face of DFA.
InSPIRAtions Youth Company girls in Christopher Kindo's Cape Swing, 20th Anniversary Gala in 2010. Photo by Pat Bromilow-Downing
As InSPIRAtions Youth Company now carries the torch, it is they who represent the standard of excellence and inspiration embodied by the legendary Phyllis Spira who, after she retired from the stage, trained many DFA dancers, some of whom are now in InSPIRAtions Youth Company. Members of the group were selected through an audition process and, as part of their training, the dancers will learn what is required to become professional performers. This helps to bridge the gap between student and professional status.
At present, there are about 20 DFA students in this group. Some will make it and some won’t – those who will succeed are students who have both the passion and complete dedication, as well as a good understanding of the work ethic required in this wonderful art form.
At DFA we focus on giving our students the best training we possibly can in all dance forms. This prepares those who are talented and versatile enough to eventually audition for a place in a professional dance company or musical production – in South Africa or abroad.
It is a discipline that instills self worth, confidence, respect for your body, respect for your teachers and fellow dancers, as well as a respect for and understanding of the profession – which is one of the most challenging professions in the world. This training also educates students about the rules of professionalism, the rules of the theatre and prepares them for an audition – equipping them with knowledge of correct grooming, (make up and hair), costumes, lighting and everything that is required of a professional dancer.
Philip Boyd teaching the group. Photo by Lenore Cairncross.
These dance students are being groomed to perform in professional and corporate events. Opportunities they’ve had to showcase their skill include the 2011 Baxter Dance Festival and a performance at the World Mental Health Conference, held in the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
There are some interesting performances planned for this group of dancers for our 2012 Stepping Out Tour in April as well as the possibility of performing at the Klein Karoo Arts festival in Oudtshoorn.
There is also an exciting international collaboration linking South Africa and Wales for part of the Wales Cultural Olympiad at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff on 20 & 21 July 2012. This is named Mzanzi Cymru and is spearheaded by Valleys Kids, a community development charity based in the South Wales Valleys. In addition to Dance for All, the other partners in this large-scale musical production are Fezeka High School Choir, Zip Zap Circus and the well-known band Amampondo. This project is dependent on getting the required funding from the UK.
Their profile and growing reputation, as well as the many performing opportunities now being created by InSPIRAtions Youth Company, gives the rest of DFA the much-needed exposure it requires to attract funding, which is essential to its ongoing work.
To hire this exciting and talented group of dancers for a performance, or for a corporate or private function, please phone Dance for All offices on 021 697 5509.
InSPIRAtions Youth Company on Stepping Out Tour 2011 perfoming Imvula, choreographed
by Christopher Kindo. The piece is based on a poem by Eugene Marais and tells the story
of the rain and her powerful interaction with the animals of the desert.
Photo by Rodger Bosch
On 17 May our students performed in the Uthando Benefit Concert at the Table Bay Hotel, arranged by James Fernie of Uthando Tours. James has loaded two dance pieces, Imvula, performed by 11 of the members and another called In my head performed by Lewellyn Afrika on YouTube. Llewellyn joined InSPIRAtions Youth Company in February 2011. Click here to view these videos: Imvula and In my head
InSPIRAtions Youth Company performing Imvula at DFA's End of Year Performance 2011.
Photo by Robin Elam-Rye