Eleven dancers from a Scottsville dance school have been selected to show off their moves at a dance camp in Denmark next year.
Dance instructor Lamese Abrahams-Omar, who founded the Dancemania school, says she is excited to take some of her dancers abroad as it will be their first time overseas.
Denmark Dancecamps is a week-long training camp from July 5 to July 10, 2020.
The camp is for beginners and world champions who will be judged by a panel of international adjudicators and be trained to dance like professionals.
Northern News joined Dancemania’s Latin class on Wednesday November 20 as dancers swayed across the floor with toes protruding from their broken leather dance shoes.
Lamese started teaching in Scottsville four years ago as part of a short-term after-school programme.
She now has more than 50 students between the ages of 4 and 40.
The 36-year-old Bellville resident says she is impressed with the determination her students have shown “despite their challenges”.
Lamese teaches for free and picks up her students from all areas in the northern suburbs.
Some days she has 15 students and other days she has a full class of 50.
“Everyone is welcome to attend my class, but I have students from disadvantaged homes who cannot afford to pay for dance lessons but are eager to learn so I will do my best to get them to class.”
But the competitions, clothes and shoes are expensive, so she holds weekly fund-raisers to find the money for their competitions.
She looks back with pride on the time she has spent teaching children to find their inner dancer.
“I have an open-door policy, and I am their mom, counsellor and friend. I have a good relationship with my students, although we have our fights, but I only want what’s best for them.”
Assistant teacher Leham Absolon, 31, of Scottsville, says dance has helped him meet new people from all over the world.
“I have been dancing since I was 7, it keeps me fit,and I enjoy building relationships. Dancemania is like my second family.”
What he enjoys most about Latin and ballroom dancing, he says, is the “glitz and glam and being a team player”.
Dancemania will feature in the SA Ballroom and Latin Championships at GrandWest on Saturday December 7.
If you would like to help the crew get to Denmark next year, call Lamese at 082 677 0362. The classes are held at Scottsville High School on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 7pm to 9pm.