I am a dancer. I have danced ballet since I was three years old. I am also a capoeirista, training with groups in Gauteng, and I have dabbled in other urban dance styles.
Because I have experienced the life changing lessons and beliefs that dance offers a person, I believe that this is an important project to implement in the city. Apart from the obvious benefit of keeping youth off the streets and out of trouble, it offers a sense of achievement, belonging and support that young people need in a sometimes crazy world.
You learn about discipline, teamwork, flexibility, simple enjoyment and it gives you a sense of achievement every time you progress.
I believe in urban regeneration through empowering the people that already live in the space, and not replying on outside help all the time. The residents living in the city centre are not victims or the baddies. Urban regeneration should not be synonymous with "cleaning out" the people already living there and bringing in the bohemian artists (as I feel happened too often in Cape Town). Where do these residents go? To townships?
This is not the answer. People from outside the city centre need to realise that it is in fact safe to be in the CBD, and they too can take part in the dancing as well. Youth in the city centre will also be given the opportunity to realise that self expression and self care can improve the places they live in.