Dancing to the top

2018-12-04 06:01
Shaé Constant (left) and Joshua Deiner will be on their way to East London next week to compete in the South African National Ballroom and Latin Championships.

Shaé Constant (left) and Joshua Deiner will be on their way to East London next week to compete in the South African National Ballroom and Latin Championships.

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Shaé Constant and Joshua Deiner will be on their way to East London next week to compete at Juvenile Championship level for Latin American at the South African National Championships.

Joshua (12), from Ottery, is in Grade 6 at Battswood Primary School and has been ballroom dancing for four years.

“I love the feel of the music and the beauty of the dance moves. I love learning new steps and it makes me happy when I perfect it. It also keeps me fit,” he says.

He started ballroom dancing four years ago when he moved with his mother and brother to Ottery, into a place which just happened to be next door to Kim Isaacs, who has since become his coach.

“I heard the music playing from this house every day and people dancing, so one day I asked the lady in the backyard what kind of classes do they do at night – she mentioned ballroom and Latin and that I should come and try out. I decided to go one Friday night and after one class I fell in love with dance and decided to go every week. Two months later I did my first competition…and we won. And so, the journey continued up until today,” says Joshua.

Joshua and Shaé won the Western Province title a few weeks ago, which has given them confidence going into the national champs in East London.

Shaé (10), from Eerste River, has been dancing since the age of six and has her parents to thank for introducing her to Kim’s dance studio, where she met and partnered up with Joshua.

“I have a passion for dancing and movement and enjoy the competitions that we participate in. I love the travelling as well and believe that Latin and ballroom dance will allow me to see beautiful new places and experience new things,” she says.

Both dancers count travelling to Sun City and Oudtshoorn as highlights in their fledgling careers and will also line up to compete in the Arnold Schwarzenegger Competition in Johannesburg in May next year.

Meanwhile, the duo’s coach Kim Isaacs says every competition provides a new experience and it will be no different when they visit East London.

“This is another platform for them to showcase their talent and learn to compete at the highest level from kids all over the nation and from other countries,” she says.

Isaacs adds that the challenge of having to pull together finances for every competition, and especially the national competition, remains a tall order.

“The challenge for many families is the expensive travel arrangements and many kids have single parents. There are not many sponsorships for this sport. We hope that one day the sport will be considered as a full sporting code in South Africa so that the kids can obtain the support like any other sport from the government where kids excel at the sport and are recognised and offered scholarships and opportunities to further their education,” she says.

While she maintains that the community has always been supportive of their cause, financial difficulties have seen that support dwindle at fundraising events over time.

“We would love the kids to have dedicated sponsors who want to promote the children and see them excel in this sport, offering them a yearly sponsorship that will see them compete at all the major competitions and assist with dance wear and shoe costs which are very expensive,” she says.

Isaacs thanked those who have supported the dancers until now and pleaded for their continued support.

“The children love performing and always enjoy performing for churches, organisations and for community engagements showcasing their talent and love dressing up in their glamorous outfits. We hope they see the benefit of being consistent and that their focus, practice and determination will pay off.”

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