Gugulethu dance teacher uses contemporary dance to keep kids off the street

By Shifaan Ryklief Time of article published Oct 16, 2019

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She was born and raised in Gugulethu and says that dance is what kept her off the streets or getting involved in substance abuse, and wants to instill the same influence on the current youth in her community.

Dance teacher Olwethu Katase from the Igugu-Lethu Arts and Leadership Project is doing her bit to uplift her community through contemporary,  ballet and African dance.

"We use the medium of art as a catalyst to minimize the many discourses that the youth in the Townships experience," said Katase.

"Dance gives kids a safe space where they can be themselves and express themselves freely through dance."

The project started in 2015 and they've performed on numerous occasions at the Baxter theater and Artscape Arena.

Katase also spent some time in San Francisco in the United States where she taught at San Francisco Ballet. 

"It was part of an international exchange programme and I got to do an African workshop there," said Katase.

Video: Shifaan Ryklief/SAPA+

"One of the challenges we face as contemporary dance teachers is that there's a mentality that dance is mostly for females, and males shy away from dance.

"But dance is open to everybody and we'd like to have more male dancers coming into the project."


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