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Young dancer off to the USA

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Young Gugulethu ballet dancer Amahle Dlambulo (18).
Young Gugulethu ballet dancer Amahle Dlambulo (18).

A young Gugulethu dancer Amahle Dlambulo will jet off to the United States of America (USA) on Tuesday 12 July to take part in the Alonzo King Lines Ballet Summer programme.

The programme is designed for aspiring artists between the ages of 11 and 25. It offers a unified approach to training rooted in the philosophy of Alonzo King.

The 18-year-old is a member of the Igugulethu Arts and Leadership Project, a dance group specialising in ballet and contemporary dance in Gugulethu. He was awarded the 2022 Lines Ballet Summer Advanced Programme scholarship to San Francisco, California after taking part in a virtual programme last year.

The summer programme will take place for a period of three weeks, starting on Sunday 17 July until Friday 5 August.

The founder of the project, professional dancer Olwethu Katase, described Dlambulo’s tour as an achievement, not only for him but for the organisation as well.

She said Dlambulo is the first member of the organisation to go to overseas. “I established this organisation in 2016 at Luzuko (primary school),” Katase said, “but because of the number of learners I relocated to the Gugulethu Sports Complex. Amahle is the one of the students whom I started with. Since then, I have been working with him and other students.”

She specialises in teaching ballet and contemporary dance.

Explaining how Dlambulo received the scholarship, Katase said he had taken part in the Summer Intensive programme, which was online last year.

“He participated in a Zoom workshop, where dancers were showcasing their skills,” she said, “and he was among the students selected.”

Dlambulo described the tour as a dream come true for him. He said where he is today is the result of hard work.

The Grade 12 learner at Chris Hani High School in Makhaza, Khayelitsha said he hopes his tour to the USA will motivate other children to aim as high as they possibly can.

“I’m excited, but nervous at the same time, because I don’t know what to expect, and it will be my first time on a flight,” he said. “But I believe in myself, and I’m hoping I will make my community proud.”

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