Winning hip-hop crew shows how dancing can change lives

POPULAR hip-hop dance crew Dejavu is not only ranked the best in the province but also grooms youngsters from the impoverished northern areas to embrace the dancer in themselves.

Dejavu won the senior hip-hop category at the Sport Aerobics Fitness Federation (Ecsaff) provincial dance championships over the weekend.

They will be one of the teams competing in the national leg of the competition in Cape Town next month.

Other teams joining them on the national stage include popular Bay dance crews Recruited, Driven, Vandelyders and Transformers.

Dejavu's manager, Godfrey Stanley from Salsoneville, and his team of senior dancers host workshops for kids from Gelvandale, Helenvale and surrounds every Saturday morning at the Gelvandale community centre, showing them that hip-hop can change their lives.

Stanley, who pays for the workshops out of his own pocket, said besides ministering to children about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, Dejavu wanted to help nurture youngsters' dreams.

"I have never seen a dancing child unhappy," he said. "No matter how hungry or troubled they are, dancing makes their world a better place."

Vice president of South African Sport Aerobics Fitness, Ivy Wepener, said what set Dejavu aside from their peers was their unique combination of technical, artistic and aerobic routines.

"Being very involved with Ecsaff as well, we try not only to give dancers a good platform for competing, but to also take the sport into schools," she said.

"Since physical training was phased out of schools, we found that many kids grow up to be inactive. The idea is to promote fitness among pupils and that a healthy body cultivates a healthy mind."

Schools who would like to join the programme can contact Godfrey Stanley on 083- 490-7279. - Alvené du Plessis