Two Portland dance groups are appealing to the community to help them attend the FISAF International World Fitness and Hip Hop Unite Championships 2017 which will be held in ECC Leiden, the Netherlands, from Tuesday October 17 to Saturday October 21.
This comes after Da-Sturbin Da Peace and CI Ethos, won first and second place, respectively at the South African Sport and Fitness Federation National Champion earlier this month.
Site4Dance studio manager Judy Rhodes, who produced both groups, urged the public to assist them.
“Our big challenge is to get funds. Out of seven members, each member needs to have about R20 000 including accommodation and food. We have already started fundraising by doing small gigs,” she said.
“Da-Sturbin da Peace has been doing this for eight years and CI Ethos just started last year. They are coming from backyards performing on the streets,” she said, adding that part of their objective was to change the perception that people have about Mitchell’s Plain.
“When people think of Mitchell’s Plain they think of drugs and gangsterism, and this is one thing good for the community,” said Ms Rhodes.
The head coach and member of Da-Sturbin Da Peace, Ignatius Pastor, 33, said their aim is to take the youth away from social ills.
“There is a lot of talent out there. And people can come to showcase it. There are a lot of dances that people don’t know like contemporary, modern, house, b-boy, just to name a few,” he said.
Mr Pastor said they had about 37 members ranging from five to 33 years.
“The registration fee is R200 for the year and R200 class fee for the month. But parents who are interested to bring their children but don’t have money can come and we will negotiate. We also have free classes twice a month,” said Mr Pastor, adding that their group was not about the money.
He said this was not the first time some of them would be performing in Europe.
“In 2012 we (Da-Sturbin Da Peace) went to Netherlands and performed in the Hip Hop Unite competition and we came 11th in the world.
“After 2012 we didn’t perform because of lack of funds, but we qualified to perform in Europe,” he said.
Junior coach Tamaryn Pastor, 30, said she had mixed feelings about the journey. “I’m excited but also anxious. It’s going to be the third time now to perform in Europe. But each time it’s different because the standard is high,” said Ms Pastor.
She also appealed to the community to help them with funds.
The youngest member of CI Ethos, Cameron Erasmus, 16, said she was nervous. “It’s going to be my first time in Europe. And I’m nervous because I don’t know what will come up. But I’ll try to do my best,” she said.
Ms Erasmus described hip hop as her favourite music. “It’s easy to express yourself to.
“Sometimes you use hands rather than words to express yourself,” she explained.
Ms Rhodes appealed to the community to support them in their upcoming events.
On Saturday August 5, there will be a karaoke and dance party in Portland Indoor Centre; on August 12, a S4D Showcase event, at Strandfontein High School hall; on August 26, a masquerade ball at Portland community hall; and on 1 October, high tea event, at Strandfontein High School hall. Call Ms Rhodes on 072 148 2092 if you can help.