Local dance centre grows

2019-08-20 06:00
Dancers of the Jodie Jackson Dance Centre

Dancers of the Jodie Jackson Dance Centre

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The Jodie Jackson Dance Centre in Lotus River has grown from strength to strength since opening in 2011.

Choreographer and owner of the dance centre, Jodie Jackson (31), says this was something the community needed.

“There were other studios at the time, but they didn’t offer what we do,” she says.

Jackson, who started dancing when she was three years old, is trained in ballet as well as modern dancing and contemporary dancing.

According to Jackson, the main aim of the centre is to give back to the community and to give the children something positive to do after school.

“They all love dancing and for them to come here and to actually make something of their dancing and not just dance in the road is amazing.”

Jackson says dancing has been in her family for years. “My aunt danced, my cousin danced, and it became my passion,” says Jackson.

She says when she opened the centre in 2011, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. “I didn’t have any money when I opened. I just had a hall and I charged children something silly like R50 a month. It was difficult, but it grew. The community was very supportive and opened their hearts.”

Jackson says seeing her studio grow is a rewarding experience. Now the studio has about 60 dancers, aged three to 23.

“The kids love it and it’s rewarding to see them enjoy what they do. They get to dance in a safe space.”

Jackson says two of her former dance students are now teachers at her studio.

Caylum Hughes (21), the hip hop choreographer, enrolled in dancing classes at the studio seven years ago.

“He developed into a choreographer at the studio.”

Another dancer, Abel Modise (19), the assistant teacher for hip hop, also started off as a dance student.

“It’s fulfilling because I saw them evolve as dancers. The students have become the teachers.”

The studio’s dancers competed at Battle of the Giants in Sun City earlier this year where they placed top three in most of the categories. They also competed in Croatia at the DanceStar World Finals in 2017 and in May this year.

Jackson says the dancers recently competed in the Commonwealth Cup, which she describes as the “Grand Prix of Dance” in Sun City.

“Our two formations (big groups) won gold in the hip hop section and the street dance section.”

Jackson says what’s amazing is seeing teachers, who used to be dancers, choreographe routines at competition level.

“That is the greatest reward for me. To witness their growth. I am very proud of them and they’re enjoying themselves.”

Jackson says they are preparing for their end-of-year show in December and hope to compete in Croatia next year again.

Jackson says she dreams of opening another branch, expanding her studio and freeing up her time to teach at other schools as well. V The Jodie Jackson Dance Centre is located at Good Shepherd Anglican Church, Victoria Road, in Grassy Park. The centre offers modern, contemporary and hip hop dancing. For more information, email jodiejacksondancecentre@gmail.com

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