Being a ballet dancer from South Africa can have its challenges, but we are seeing great talent and there is likely more to come.

For Dane Hurst who grew up in the ganglands of Port Elizabeth, he had to make a choice between having food to eat or study ballet.  He chose food, but then he became bored and got in trouble with his mates that involved tires and fire.  This close call with the police made him think about what he really wanted to do with his life.   “Dancing trumped pyromania.”  Dane changed his circumstances and moved to be closer to a ballet studio and better his life.

The challenges that dancers from South Africa include, financial, location to a dance schools, and exposure to the dance community.  South Africa has a rich dance culture and because of racial integration of public schools has merged several ethnic and urban dance cultures creating a new awareness to dance.

When Mark Baldwin from the Ballet Rambert talks about the dancers.  He states that they have, “finesse and cultural dignity running through their muscles and their inspiration is giving fresh new energy to international dance.”  This is what audiences are noticing.

Dane Hurst brought a mobile studio dance floor, made out of shipping containers  to Port Elizabeth to give dancers an opportunity to dance.  Hurst will travel with the studio to teach and mentor dancers.

The fact that South African dancers are embracing and studying dance professionally, the world is noticing and embracing the results.

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