FROM a small garage, The Flame Crew, a dance group from Humansdorp, have been working hard to hone their skills which they showcased on the Tshisa Lockdown Dance Challenge recently.
They hope that their determination will inspire young people in the area to follow their dreams.
With hard work and dedication, The Flame Crew was placed third in the dance challenge, a performing artist development programme which was started in Plettenberg Bay and launched earlier this month.
Performances were judged by means of the quantity of the “likes” dance videos received on Facebook.
Eldine Jacobs founded the dance troupe in 2013 with a group of friends. While they pursued other interests, he remained dedicated. The initial group, Flame Boys, comprised five members.
In 2017, the first female joined and the name changed to Flame Crew.
Nathely Masoling, Jacob’s dance partner, is a student at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein. She has been studying online since the Covid-19 lockdown started, which enabled them to keep practising in the garage of manager Louise Bakkes’s property.
Jacobs is also a dance tutor and teaches at Chantell Elevation Dance Academy in Jeffreys Bay occasionally. He says that when he started dancing at the age of 14, it was a way for him to express himself.
“Dancing became a new language for me, which I was able to speak anywhere. Dancing means a lot to me, because I can’t stop feeling a beat through my veins.”.
Despite his passion, Jacobs was often put down by people around him and forbidden to dance.
He, however, never gave up on his dream and instead continued to practise on his own at home before starting his own dance crew.
“While I was practising at home, I was able to build up my courage and today I believe in myself,” says Jacobs.
One of his many highlights, as a dancer in the group, was when the Dance Crew made it to the semi-final top 21 at the SA Got Talent competition in 2017 and only needed 111 votes to go through to the final round.
In 2017 and 2018, the Dance Crew came in first at the Shukuma Dance Festival.
While participating in the Showville Talent Competition in 2018, the Dance Crew came first and won R10 000.
Jacobs says he hopes to provide his hometown with exposure through his dancing. “I want to be an inspiration for young people in my area so that I can motivate them to follow their dreams.”
“There are many young people in the area who are interested in dancing.” Occasionally Jacobs practises with them to help improve their dancing skills.
Bakkes, who has been managing the Dance Crew since 2015, says there are many children in the area who enjoy dancing.
“My biggest dream is to establish a dance and music school for teenagers to join and learn the skill of dancing.”
Despite Masoling having to go back to university once restrictions have been lifted, Bakkes believes that the Dance Crew will continue to work hard.
“We will keep practising to build up our repertoire.”
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