Step this way

2015-04-30 14:46
Youngsters Keziah Gabriels, Ethan May (both 8), Cameryn Smith (15), Junior Seconna (13),  Alcino May (13) and partner Natasha Jacobs (13) practise their paces at the New Beginnings Dance Studio in Montrose Park. 

Samantha Lee

Youngsters Keziah Gabriels, Ethan May (both 8), Cameryn Smith (15), Junior Seconna (13), Alcino May (13) and partner Natasha Jacobs (13) practise their paces at the New Beginnings Dance Studio in Montrose Park. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

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Hard work is what is behind the glitz and glam on the dance floor.

Young dancers are shaking their way to the top at a local ballroom and Latin dancing club.

Currently three couples dance at the New Beginnings Dance Studio based at the Farm Recreation Centre in Montrose Park.

Alfonso May, owner of the club, says they need the positive influence in Mitchell’s Plain.

“The club was started three years ago because my son wanted to dance. He danced for a club but they closed down and then we took over from there,” May says.

The six dancers are training to compete professionally.

May says they have trouble getting couples to sign up.

“It is not a sport where we can sign up people alone. Those interested must come with a partner or we have to find a partner for them. There are many girls interested but the boys have this misconception that it is a girly sport,” May says.

He adds that this is not the case.

“Ballroom teaches boys how to treat a lady and is a sport that demands discipline and a lot of time,” he says.

The 90-minute classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Tuesdays are for Latin dancing and on Thursdays the children concentrate on ballroom dances.

May says the coaches are among the best, with decades of experience under their belts.

Two of the couples have already won awards and compete all over the country on a regular basis.

May says his plan is to register as a non-profit organisation and approach government for funding.

“This is a good sport but it is expensive. For the younger ones it may not be as much but the older ones need special costumes that could cost up to R10 000. Many people would like to learn but cannot afford it,” he adds.

These costs are soly the responsibility of the parents.

“The parents are very involved and supportive of the club,” he says.

The enthusiastic youngsters, aged between eight and 15, are getting ready to put their best foot forward in preparing for the ballroom championships.

Currently May and other parents are planning various fundraisers to help make that happen.

Future plans also include creating a ­social dance club for those young at heart who would like to learn the art of dance or dance for leisure.


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