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Jerusalema ‘brings back the joy’
Teacher Natasha van Tonder from Despatch Preparatory School with some of the 7-year-olds dancing on the song Jerusalema. Photo:SUPPLIED

THE globally enjoyed Jerusalema dance craze also struck the teachers and learners at Despatch Preparatory School at Despatch.

According to Madeléne Sachse, principal at the school, a number of educators have started challenging each other to take on the Jerusalema dance with their individual classes. “With the ease down of lockdown, many educators felt that their classes were nervy and had lost the social skills owing to very understandable fears and a long period of isolation,” said Sachse.

Natasha van Tonder, a Grade 1 educator, felt the 7-year-olds in her class needed a way to reconnect and enjoy time together again. After several conversations with HOD, Asja-Leah Katia Strydom, they decided to start teaching the learners the Jerusalema dance in order to bring the joy back into their learners’ school lives.

Learners immediately responded to it and additional classes started to participate in the challenge too.

“We practised during break time, approximately 15 minutes a day, and it took us about a week to get them relatively co-ordinated,” said Van Tonder.

“Considering that they are between the ages of 6 and 9, we feel this was an impressive learning time.”

According to principal Sachse, other teachers are currently teaching the steps to their classes.

“We look forward to putting more videos on Facebook. So far 75 learners have participated, however we would like to see all 550 participate within the upcoming weeks,” said Sachse.

Where does Jerusalema come from?

The upbeat gospel-influenced house song Jerusalema was produced and recorded by Kgaogelo Moagi, known professionally as Master KG and it features popular singer Nomcebo Zikode.

Master KG is a South African musician and record producer from Limpopo.

According to Wikipedia, the song was initially released on 29 November 2019 after it garnered positive response online, with a music video following on 21 December. Although Jerusalema is a proudly South African song, the dance challenge that has sparked a craze around the world started in Angola when a group of friends recorded a video of the dance choreography that has since gone viral.

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