Dancers are on pointe

Pictured far left is Erica Mc Ewan. At the back, from left are Aftan Mathys, Kristen Creed and Cassidy Roode. In front are Reese Croutz, Courtney Abrahams and Zoe Jacobs, grade 2 and 5 ballet dancers.

Strandfontein and Mitchell’s Plain dancers of the Cecil Jacobs Dance Project have once again excelled in the annual Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) examination.

The project headed by legendary classical ballet teacher, Cecil Jacobs, 76, at his home in Strandfontein, achieved four distinctions and 24 merit passes, from the London-based school.

The girls were presented with medals and certificates at an awards afternoon at Strandfontein High School on Saturday December 10.

The academy, founded in 1920, is found in 85 countries and more than 250 000 students are examined on their syllabi every year.

With the instruction of Mr Jacobs, the girls completed work, usually done over a two-year period within a year, and one class a week, as opposed to three classes a week.

Mr Jacobs and his protege Chanelle Appollis choreographed Christmas Fantasy, which the girls aged between four and 18, performed.

The septuagenarian has worked tirelessly for more than 50 years with underprivileged youth, using dance to drive social change on the Cape Flats, who was honoured in an Artscape production in August 2014 (“Ballet legend honoured”, Plainsman August 13, 2014).

Mr Jacobs is the only RAD teacher in the community, who holds his life membership and is the recipient of the President’s Award, given to an individual who has for many years dedicated themselves over and above the call of duty to the RAD.

“I am extremely proud of these girls who did us proud,” he said.

Mr Jacobs also thanked Ms Appollis, also a teacher, for her years of service and called on her to continue in his footsteps of serving the community.

Cecil Jacobs Dance Project offers classical ballet, like the Royal Academy of Dance, from pre-primary to advance level, at 1 Anzio Crescent, Strandfontein Village, every Saturday starting classes again in the new year on January 14. For more information, call Brenda Jacobs on O82 497 8887.