Dancers need help to bring home the gold

Hip-hop dancers from the Set4dance studio in Mitchell’s Plain are in dire need of funding to further their ambitions of taking part in the national Fitness and Hip Hop championships in Bellville in June this year.

Studio manager Judy Rhodes of Lost City said the studio catered for up-and-coming hip hop dancers, who were determined to learn and perfect the dance style as well as elevate it to the next level.

The studio offers dance classes every Saturday, from 11am to 1pm, at the Mitchell’s Plain Indoor Sports and Recreation Centre in Portland and competition crews, duos and soloists train twice a week, for two hours a session.

Ms Rhodes, who has been running the studio for the past three years, said the studio was affiliated to the South African Sport and Fitness Federation (SASAFF)and children as young as five-years-old formed part of their dance crews, and were taught their “ill” skills by head coach Ignatius Pastor.

“SASAFF is the only fitness federation recognised by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

“Therefore it’s the only Fitness Sports Aerobic Federation accredited to award provincial and national colours in conjunction with the Provincial Sports Confederations making it the only official South African National Championships,” she said.

Ms Rhodes said the studio offered coaching and competitive opportunities and promoted dance as an alternative to drugs and gangsterism within Mitchell’s Plain.

Earlier this month, six dance crews from the studio took part in the Western Cape Fitness and Hip Hop Championships held on Saturday and Sunday May 14 and 15.

“All the crews qualified at the championships and will represent the Western Cape at the National Fitness and Hip Hop Championships which will be held from Friday June 30, until Sunday July 2, at the Bellville Velodrome,” Ms Rhodes explained .

Ignatius a Portland resident, started dancing from a young age while attending Rocklands Primary School.

“Dancing is my passion. When I dance, I go into a very focused mind space and the rhythm of the music takes over my body. I have been dancing for 20-odd years now and I learn constantly,” he said. Ms Rhodes said the studio’s adult dance crew Da-sturbin da Peace (DDP) clinched a gold medal and its adult duo CI Ethos won the silver medal.

“Our biggest fear is that if these two crews qualify for the FISAF International World Fitness and Hip Hop Unite Championships in the Netherlands there will be no funding for them to attend. DDP had the honour of representing South Africa at the World Championships in 2012 but had not been able to do so again due to a lack of funds,” she said.

Ms Rhodes said 20 of the studio’s dancers require full tracksuits which cost R500 each. These need to be bought in the upcoming week.

“I want to encourage anyone who can help us with monetary donations, to come forward,” she said.

You can email set4dance@gmail.com or call Ms Rhodes on 072 148 2092 or Ignatius Pastor on 071 0433 746.