Young artists dance their way to the top

Theatre Dance Association (TDA)dancers and their African Warriors dance team. Back row from left, Kim Harding, Owam Amey , Sarah Mitchell , Jessica Henry. Middle row from left, Rachel Barnard , Jessica Dore , Alton Hufke, Anastasia Mondry , Angie Schoeman and front row from left, Cara and Kate Barnard.

Young amateur dancers from a Claremont dance group will jeté off to America in June for the opportunity of a lifetime.

They’ll be dancing at Disneyland and on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.

The 12 dancers from the Theatre Dance Association are aged 12 to 26 and come from eight dance schools across Cape Town. Their teachers are members and examiners for the non-profit association.

One of the dancers, Herschel Girls’ High School pupil Jessica Dore, 14, specialises in modern contemporary, Broadway, ballet and acrobatic dance.

“I’m extremely excited to travel to America which I’ve never done before. I’m really looking forward to being exposed to world renowned choreographers and new dance styles. The thought of performing on Hollywood Boulevard and in Disneyland is incredible! I’ve been dancing for 10 years and I’ve never done anything so exciting,” she said.

Her schoolmate, Anastasia Mondry, 14, is also going to America. She does ballet, modern dancing, Broadway, acrobatic dancing, flamenco and classical Spanish dancing.

“We rehearse every weekend between three and four hours. Our dance director and choreographer are preparing us well for the high standard of dancing expected in LA. They are encouraging us to do our best and to go beyond our expectations,” she said.

Sarah Mitchell,13, from Reddam House, Constantia, does modern dance, ballet and tap and is very excited about the prospect of dancing overseas.

“It’s going to be such fun to perform at Disneyland and in Hollywood. I am also looking forward to learning the different styles and techniques at the seminars we will be attending.”

Diana Fincham, the founding member of Theatre Dance Association, said the World Class Dance Tour invited the association to send a dance troupe to attend workshops and lectures by professional dancers.

Ms Fincham has many years of experience in dance and works with choreographers Gadi Schor and Denise Morrison.

“I taught for 35 years and experience taught me that the best dancers are not only talented , they are the dancers who can work together and are willing to make sacrifices,” she said.

Two dancers are still trying to raise R35 000 in order to go on the trip and dancer Alton Hufke will stage a benefit concert at Hottentots Holland High School to raise the money.

The Theatre Dance Association will also be performing at the Cape Town City Ballet studio in Rondebosch on Youth Day, Saturday June 16 to help fund the trip. The tickets cost R100.

Call Diane Fincham at 083 270 7883 or email for more information.