For Under-21 Ballroom and Latin Championship couple Riana Jacobs and Morgan Achmat from Cape Town dancing has always been a part of their lives.
Their backgrounds, rooted in the neighbourhoods of Bishop Lavis and Manenberg, known for their association with gangsterism, have only fuelled their determination to defy stereotypes.
They firmly believe that they can transcend their origins and demonstrate to others that even in these challenging areas, there exist young individuals with dreams and untapped potential.
Jacobs, 19, and Achmat, 18, have been dancing together since 2019 and have achieved multiple championship titles, showcasing their talent and dedication.
Following their triumph at the 2022 South African Championships, they were honoured with the opportunity to represent South Africa in Germany on December 9, 2023.
According to Achmat, he and Jacobs have always harboured lofty aspirations, goals, and unwavering ambition.
“We aspire to serve as exemplary role models for future generations and inspire other young people to realise their deepest desires,” said Achmat.
Achmat is pursuing his degree in business management and marketing and Jacobs is studying nursing.
To turn their dreams of competing at the World Championships in Germany into reality the duo need financial assistance.
Achmat excitedly explained, “Going to represent SA in Germany is going to be the most amazing experience, and we look forward to dancing on such a massive platform, competing against all the representatives of all the countries.”
Jacobs and Achmat will be hosting fund-raisers in aid of their trip to Germany. One event is FEEL THE BEAT which takes place on August 12 at Silverstream Primary School at 5.30pm. This family friendly event will showcase ballroom and Latin showdances, hip hop, drap performances, singing and more. Tickets are available on Quicket.
The goal is to reach R45 900 that will cover their flights, visas and accommodation.
Achmat said that being able to compete at international level is a dream come true and one he hopes would be realised.
“We are very passionate about dancing and this is indeed a dream come true; our blood, sweat and tears are finally paying off. Dancing takes lots of dedication and hard work because success requires dedication and consistency,” he quipped.