Dancing pupils return from Hong Kong

Zintle Sipayise, Nomakhwezi Notshe, Asaxolile Mliswa, Zikhona Hlela, Boitumelo Motse-Barnes and Phoebe Fortune are all excited about their pupils achievements.

Six pupils from Bulumko High School in Khayelitsha have just returned from a trip to Hong Kong where they showcased their dancing skills.

Teacher Boitumelo Motse-Barnes said the pupils were selected after they performed at the Cape Town Carnival in March.

The group jetted off to Hong Kong last Wednesday and returned on Monday. They were extremely excited about the trip and being the first people in their families to travel overseas.

Ms Motse-Barnes said when the pupils performed at the carnival last year they never expected to be selected as they were competing with nearly 200 other groups. For them, she said it was just a privilege to be part of the carnival and being selected to go overseas was overwhelming.

She said this trip and being selected confirmed that she was on the right path in terms of teaching the pupils dancing.

She said she teaches the children traditional dance as an extramural activity.

“I started the dance group in 2010 because I wanted to introduce a different thing at the school. I’m also passionate about dancing. I want to show parents that these children could make a career out of dancing. I want to make dancing as popular as any other sport. When I started the dancing classes I wanted to keep the pupils occupied and derail them from drug abuse. After school hours, I don’t leave, I prepare for dance classes,” she said.

Ms Motse-Barnes said she wished parents would support their children and understand that they could make a career out of dancing.

She said some parents force their children to choose certain courses to meet their own expectations.

That, she said, was wrong and parents should not live their dreams through their children.

She said children should be allowed to choose what they wanted to do with their future.

Poor attendance was another challenge, but despite this Ms Motse-Barnes said she has managed to inspire these pupils to stay on and continue dancing.

Grade 12 pupil, Zintle Sipayise, said she was the first one in her family to go in an aeroplane, let alone to travel overseas and that makes her proud of her achievement.

The 20-year-old said her home was gutted by a fire last year and that was the sadness time in her life.

The trip was the best way she could start the year.

She said she wants to pursue dancing after she finishes school and wants to do well so that people could understand this can be a career.

She said her mother was supportive and proud of her achievements so far.

“I’m in the first one in my family to travel overseas and be on a flight. I cant believe it. I enjoyed my stay in Hong Kong and wish I can visit again. In fact, for all of us it was our first time flying. When I joined the dance I never knew that it could take me somewhere as there not much said about it. I want this to inspire our peers that our dreams are valid and nothing is really impossible in life.” she said.