Youngsters to dance in George

2016-03-01 06:00
The Heideveld Dance Group will be sending 15 children to a national competition in George in April. Here is Kelvin Nair (left) along with his partner Riana Jacobs.

The Heideveld Dance Group will be sending 15 children to a national competition in George in April. Here is Kelvin Nair (left) along with his partner Riana Jacobs.

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The Heideveld dance group is going from strength to strength.

Established last year, the group has grown to almost 50 children from the area.

Now the group is taking 15 children to George in April to participate in one of the national competitions hosted by the South African Dance Teachers’ Association.

Roderick and Lynne Norman, founders of the group, say that despite the rapid rise in the group’s membership, they still face a number of challenges.

Lynne Norman says: “The reason why we opened the club is for the underprivileged kids, because this is a very expensive sport. We were at a club in Athlone, but wanted to open one in Heideveld. There were always issues with the transport for the kids and we know that they would not be able to pay for these things.”

She says they try not to charge the parents too much. Since registering as an NPO, they have relied on the goodwill of the community for donations.

Meanwhile, Roderick says the tour to George will give his fellow community members an opportunity to experience life outside the confines of Heideveld.

He says: “A lot of children in our area have never been out of Cape Town. We are trying to use dance as a way to expand their horizons, so that they can at least experience something else in the Western Cape. I don’t think that a lot of the parents have been to George either and they are very excited about it.”

He too highlights the financial hurdles.

“They dance well and they can compete, but because of monetary issues, a lot of them can’t.”

Currently they recycle shoes and dresses from those who have outgrown them.

“We get two coaches who come in to give specialised training and we pay them to come in.”

The dance group facilitates children from as young as five years old, with their oldest student being 22 years old.

“It is for anybody, irrespective of if they have money or not. They must just come and dance. Heideveld’s kids have so much talent and if the community would just open their eyes as to what can happen to their kids if they give them those opportunities ... Because I feel a lot of our children do not have the opportunities that kids from more privileged areas would have. Our kids, if they have that push and all those opportunities, they can go very far in life.”

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