Nimble feet take teens far

TWO Port Elizabeth teenagers have been invited to put their form to the test at an international dance competition in Taiwan next year.

Luthando Matole, 16, and Othandwayo Gqamane, 13, of the Ndoni Dance Art Academy in Motherwell, were invited to compete in the Times Cup in Taiwan a year from now.

They were selected after they won the ballroom dancing category at the National Dance Arts Festival held in the Kraaifontein Town Hall in Cape Town on Saturday.

Luthando, a Grade 10 Douglas Mbopa High School pupil, said he had been training "really hard" for the past two years.

"I started dancing with Othandwayo a month ago and we won. It was a great feeling. I am so surprised that we were invited to dance in Taiwan," he said.

Ithembelihle High School Grade 8 pupil Othandwayo started dancing just six months ago and has already won a national competition.

"I went to watch dancing at my school and joined to see what it was about. I am so happy we won and am 'stoked' about Taiwan," she said.

Thirteen dancers, aged between 13 and 15 years, from the Ndoni Dance Art Academy competed in Saturday's competition. Academy founder Thembinkosi Ndoni said all his dancers took either first, second or third place at the event.

"I am overwhelmed that my dancers have been invited to dance in Taiwan. Asia is a good opportunity and we will have good results," Ndoni said.

The dancers, Ndoni and a stylist will have to pay their own way to the competition in Taiwan.

A proud Ndoni said he was "very happy the children of the metro managed to do wonders at the Cape Town competition".

In May, dancers from Ndoni's academy competed at the Blackpool Festival in England and in December last year at the World Dance Council Amateur League event in France.