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SASAD DANCE CONGRESS (article first published : 2008-03-6)

The South African Society for the Advancement of Dancing will host a Dance Congress at Danville Girls High School in Durban North from April 9 to12. SASAD will draw tutors and students from all points of the globe to come together and learn from each other. This prestigious event has grown from strength to strength and many overseas artists and choreographers are keen to come and share with the students their knowledge of the various forms of dance that they specialise in.

There are ten dance disciplines that the students can participate in: ballet, modern jazz, modern contemporary, African contemporary, Horton technique, tap, hip hop, acrobatics, Broadway musical theatre and body conditioning. The Ballet classes will be tutored by Renee Callis (Junior) and Janet Lindup (Seniors, Pointe and repertoire classes). Janet has performed as a principle dancer for CAPAB for 17 years, and has a vast knowledge in teaching students, as she has also studied in New York. Brigitte Reeve from Cape Town will be giving the Junior Modern Jazz classes, as well as the Senior Horton technique classes. Horton is a method of dance which Brigitte is passionate about, and she travels annually to New York to the Alvin Ailey Theatre School to further her knowledge.

The congress will proudly present the highly acclaimed Michael Thomas, a resident New Yorker who will be conducting the Senior Contemporary classes. He has studied dance extensively, and has been a lead performer for some the top dance companies in America for many years, namely Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Complexions Contemporary Dance Company (New York), RhythMEK (New York), as well as artistic director, master class teacher, and principal teacher for the above companies. His passion now is to bridge the gap between the studio and the stage, and to motivate students to pursue their dreams, and make them a reality.

Cinda Eatock will be taking the Broadway Musical Theatre classes. Cinda has been appearing in musicals since 1976, the highlight of which was her appearance in Meet me in St Louis, performed on Broadway from 1993 to 1996. She has also done choreography for many TV and movie specials, including Strictly Come Dancing. Thatanelo David April will conduct the African Contemporary classes, which will bridge the gap for students who are looking to break into the local world of dance, which more often than includes a form of African dance. Mark Tadford will be taking the Tap classes, bringing with him his own particular style of tapping.

The local Hip Hop fraternity has not been left out, as the services of Tal Iosef from Canada have been secured. Tal will be joining the world renowned Cirque De Soleil directly after completing the Dance Congress. He has choreographed and performed in many international music videos and movies, and the congress looks forward to his contribution to improving the hip hop skills of the students.

Jolene Oosthuizen from Polokwane will be taking the acrobats through their paces, and she certainly has the credentials in this field. Her acrobats have won numerous awards nationally and her enthusiasm will be most welcome. Pat Gush from Cape Town has extensive experience in Body Conditioning, which is vital for the dancer to know, as their bodies are their tools and need to be trained in the correct techniques to avoid injuries.

The Dance Congress is open to all teachers and students of dance, and enquiries can be forwarded to Veronica on 082 678 6460, or Des 082 563 1995, or email info@sasad.co.za




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