A group of East London dancers will get to showcase their skills in Los Angeles after taking part in the South African performing arts championships in Johannesburg recently.
The 19 member crew from Nicole Windell’s Dance School ‘Steps of Style Dancers’ scooped several individual medals in addition to three gold medals, two silver and one bronze for their group dances in contemporary, hip hop and ethnic dance styles at the championships.
Before their trip to Johannesburg the group – aged from eight to 27 – hosted a concert at the Guild Theatre to raise funds.
This time they will have to pull out all the stops to raise close to R2-million for the 19-member squad to take part in the world championships in Los Angeles in two months’ time.
Lanelli Meeking, 23, said he was humbled by the experience.“Just having been among the participants [in Johannesburg] was a victory on it’s own for me.”Although I didn’t win anything in my performance, we certainly rocked the dance floor as a team and we are very excited about our achievement.
Meeking said he was still trying to come to terms with the fact they had qualified to attend the world championships.
“Our biggest challenge now is getting sponsorships and securing all the funding,” he said.
Thobeka Sirunu, the mother of 9-year-old group member Aqhame Sirunu, a Grade 4 pupil at Gonubie Primary, said she was excited about their achievement.
“I’m very excited about what Nicole is doing with our children, she has opened a door filled of adventure and opportunities for our children and they are really enjoying themselves. This is one time we as parents need to push and see our children through to Los Angeles because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which could also open more doors for them.“I couldn’t be more proud to see all their endless efforts and hard work paying off,” she said.
Kirsty-Leigh Flemming, 19, who is also training as a hip-hop dance instructor, said she was excited to have been part of the team.
“After dancing for more than six years now, this has to be the highlight of my dance career and now taking on an international stage is suddenly not so far fetched too.”
“The championships have been a great booster for my confidence and an eye opening experience to see the difference styles of dance and how other people tweek their moves here and there.”
Windell said she was impressed with the achievements of her students.
“Being majority first time competitors we were blown away by our results. Our dancers also had the awesome opportunity of taking part in a hip hop workshop with Betty Rox, a Los Angeles, Hollywood choreographer and dancer.
“This was an awesome experience for them.” — firstname.lastname@example.org