Launching a Dance Academy in Namibia

I grew up in a strict culture that prohibits women and girls from dancing as it is regarded as taboo. Despite it being forbidden by my family, I started dancing at the age of 10 when I performed at my primary school. I continued in high school and at 15 I started choreographing and designing costumes. Dancing became everything to me.

In 2007 I joined a group called WILD DOGS and trained as a dancer and performer as we toured around Namibia performing and hosting shows. The same year we took part in the Oviritje Dance Competition and we came first. But, every time I traveled with the dance group my parents would be angry and eventually I had to leave the group and stop dancing.

After high school, I went to Tertiary College in the city away from my parents, to study Management and Taxation for a year. It was here that I discovered the College of the Arts and I enrolled for a Diploma in African Performing Arts, which included dance, music, and drama. However, I was living in the city with my uncle and when he found out about my enrolment, I had to leave the house and stay in a hostel until I completed my studies.

As I had decided to become a dancer against my parents’ wishes I had to pay for my studies and make a living for myself. As dancing is what makes me happy, I didn’t mind this. I had to perform to secure funds and pay for my first year but in the second and third years I applied for a grant that paid for the rest of my studies.

While studying I started an organization called ChiNamibia, which stands for Children of Namibia Arts Education for Development. This educates, empowers and develops young people through Arts and Culture. We have now been running for 18 months and tour Africa, performing at festivals. We have taken children to perform at a Christmas show in Harare, Zimbabwe and to perform at an anniversary in Gaborone in Botswana. We are currently teaching at a school and are able to use their facilities to host fundraising events for NGOs.
Wishing to further my studies in dance education, I searched online for courses. When I discovered the Royal Academy of Dance, I applied for the BA in Dance Education. I believe this will make my dreams come true after graduation, and improve my teaching skills while I study and teach at my dance academy.

I almost lost hope, but after starting the BA (Hons) Dance Education, I was inspired to continue with my dream and I officially launched my Dance Academy in May 2015. Thanks to the RAD!

Read our other student stories or find out how to apply to join the BA (Hons) Dance Education.