There is a dance group located in the township of Tembisa and its changing young lives and creating opportunities through dance.

RUN TOWARDS YOUR DREAM: Some of the IDA crew members during practice session. Photo: Candice Wagener

RUN TOWARDS YOUR DREAM: Some of the IDA crew members during practice session.                                    Photo: Candice Wagener

A small dance academy, which was formed in 2004, in the township of Tembisa is using street dance as a medium to create hope and opportunities for people in the community.

Indigenous Dance Academy (IDA) is located on Zephania Msebenzi Street in Tembisa and they hold dance sessions every Friday and Saturday night from 4 to 8pm.

The academy holds their classes in a backyard under the carport, with one light, one speaker, one soundboard and one computer. It forms the perfect recipe for when the group comes together.

What IDA is doing

“The IDA mission is to provide its dancers with comprehensive artistic education that fosters excellence in the manner that embraces the passion for all art forms,” said Jarrel Mathebula, one of the co-founders of IDA.

Dance is used as a platform to create hope. “People get to experience things that they never thought themselves are possible so they get to experience those dreams,” said Mathebula

The dance studio offers more than just a space to dance, they also emphasise life skills. “How they can believe in themselves to make a difference in their lives and for the youth to trust in their dopeness and creativity,” added Mathebula.

Making a path of change

“IDA has really saved us from being sucked in by the social ills of our community. It has also instilled great discipline in me,” said Mduduzi Mahlangu, once of the dancers who is part of the crew. Mahlangu sees Mathebula as being the big brother he never had and says that he has become a man through the skills and values that have been taught by Mathebula at IDA.

Mathebula talks about how the dancers have a small business besides them dancing so they have something to fall back on.

Mahlangu has a passion for photography and IDA provides opportunities for its dancers, for example, employment when there is a dance event or gig. By saving the money he earned from dancing, Mahlangu was able to buy his own photography equipment and pursue a career in photography.

“Dance has saved my life, who knows what I’d be involved in if I didn’t dance,” said Mahlangu.

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