South Africa - Vuyelwa, Dance for All
I am Vuyelwa, 15 years old this year. I was born in Gauteng but grew up in Cape Town with my grandmother and siblings. I started dancing at the age of 9 years...
UNESCO in its partnership with the ballet brand, Repetto, is working closely with Dance for All, a dynamic NGO that uses dance for underprivileged children in shantytowns and impoverished neighbourhoods in South Africa. Founded in 1995, Dance for All operates dance classes in classical ballet, African, contemporary and musical theatre for 900 children in the neighbourhoods of Gugulethu, Nyanga, Khayelitsha, Athlone and Strand, and in the rural areas of Barrydale and Montagu. Through dance, children develop their creativity, self-discipline and confidence, which then enables them to excel in all areas of their life, from school to home.
This is Vuyelwa's testimony:
I am Vuyelwa, 15 years old this year. I was born in Gauteng but grew up in Cape Town with my grandmother and siblings. I started dancing at the age of 9 years when I was in Grade 4 at Songezo Primary School. I didn’t know anything about dancing until this one special day I will never forget. I was going to a tennis practice when we were told that our teacher would not be coming, as she was sick. So my friends and I decided to go and watch the dance class. When we arrived we saw lots of children dancing and being taught by a white person. This was strange to us but at the same time we found it exciting and brave. That day we had fun watching the dance classes. We returned the next day after school but that day was different, I didn’t just enjoy watching I got attracted by how they moved. After the class was finished I went to ask the teacher if I could join too. They were friendly and welcoming. I love dancing so much, I love expressing my feelings in any form I can. My favourite type of dancing is contemporary and ballet dancing. I love being on stage, stage is my comfort zone. I thank Dance for All for who I am now. Dancing has changed my life in a good way. I thank the staff and especially to the people who support this company for making it run everyday.