A dance studio serves as a beacon of hope for young and old in Khayelitsha’s Tsepetsepe shanty town.
Vibe Dance Studio is run by Vuyani Masiza and has about 30 dancers of all ages and abilities.
Last Friday afternoon, Mr Masiza and dancers aged 6 to 15 who competed in recent dance champs at GrandWest wowed the neighbourhood when they showed off their moves in public to about 50 people, mostly their parents.
“I have been teaching them dances, and we have been to competitions and won titles,” Mr Masiza said. “Today is just a way to say thank you to the children and their parents for their commitment to the project. The aim is to teach them and take them out of the streets. Dance is one the crucial sports to socialise and have a career out of it.
“We are seeing the results of our work,” he said, referring to the national dance championships at GrandWest earlier this month. “We had three first places, two second places, five third places, two fifth places and one sixth. That is a great achievement. What makes me happy is that the community is behind us and the children are committed.”
One of the parents, Zanele Mdonga, urged the community to Mr Masiza.
“He is creating lasting change in this small community. We are so proud of our children and their parents by partaking in the dance classes. What he does will go down to the history books of this community,” she said.
The studio teaches Latin American, ballroom and various other forms of dance, including dance for those in wheelchairs.
Practice sessions are held at the Homba Primary School and at the Presbyterian Church in F Section, Khayelitsha. Classes are on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.