East London’s dance landscape has been overtaken by a moving sense of unity and passion as a community dance project video by a group of dancers, went viral on social media recently.
PnA Ultimate Performer 2018 winner Jayson Jegels and his dance partner Nikita Naidoo founded and run the project.
“Nikita and I were inspired by the movie, Honey (2003), and we thought of doing a project for all dancers. We go by the saying of ‘each one, teach one’,” Jegels said.
No auditions were held for dancers to be part of the project, it was open to all.
International American gospel artist Yolanda Adams’ song, I Believe, was used in the video and caught her attention on Instagram. In her comment she said: “How amazing. Love this!!!”
Dance Body Studio owner Vicky Luff said dance is a universal language that unites people and the initiative is great for all dancers.
“I think that they did a great job, it was a wonderful experience for my child, and she had an absolute blast. It’s awesome for those who don’t get to showcase their talent or be part of something so this is a huge opportunity for them,” Luff said.
For ballroom and Latin dancing trainer Michelle Ngcipe, the opportunity to dance with fellow dancers while building community relations was the attraction for her.
“I also do free dance lessons in my Pefferville community, practising at Gompo Community Hall. I’m glad to be involved with people that think like I do,” Ngcipe said.
A total of 27 dancers braved cold and wet conditions as they shot their video at the East London ICC recently. The project hopes to take place on an annual basis.
“Our hurdles was the weather and lighting that day. We had put in about 14 hours of practice before the shoot,” Naidoo said.
12 year old Merrifield College pupil and dancer Paige Collins said she would encourage other children to take part.
“It helps you achieve more, push you and learn a lot from dancing with different ages. I felt worthy and appreciative to be part of this,” Collins said.
Jegels and Naidoo are grateful for all the dancer’s commitment, EL ICC Hotel for accommodating them at short notice and to Barry Wittstock for opening his church hall for practice sessions.
See the video below and subscribe to the YouTube channel of the community initiative