Just Bust a Move!

The Ballito MagazineDecember 19, 2023

If you’re not part of the local dancing scene, you may not be aware of the incredible number of studios and classes in Ballito to get your groove on. So, I slipped on my dancing shoes and shimmied my way through a series of lessons!

 

We put on our most colourful outfits and headed to a Bollywood in Ballito class. Suvina Mahadaw, who has loved dance since she was six years old, offers Bollyfit, combined and advanced dance lessons. Suvina graduated in dance from Bharata Natyam and obtained her BA degree in dance and drama and a teachers diploma. After moving to Ballito, she found that there were not many Bollywood classes available, so she decided to start her own with a vision to connect people and spread the love for dance across borders.

 

Photo by Streamline Media

We attended one of her combined classes, perfect for us beginners. You can see Suvina’s passion in every move. She also has a great knowledge of the various styles of Bollywood dance and incorporates this into her classes, so you can learn while you dance!

 

If you’ve tried Bollywood dance before, you’ll know that it can get quite complicated as your arms and legs move in different directions and patterns. I loved how Suvina simplified the choreography by focusing on the legs and feet first, then the upper body, before putting it all together in a festive Bollywood fashion. The high-energy sequences mean you definitely get your daily workout in while having a great time.

To attend one of Suvina’s cheerful classes, WhatsApp her at 076 535 7789.

 

Next, we visited a studio that seems to do it all. We stepped into FootworX Dance Centre, ready to conquer a beginner hip hop class. This studio was founded by Natashia Hooman-Roets, a professional dancer and teacher with Theatre Dance Association (DA) and Association of International Dance Teachers (AIDT) qualifications.

 

Natashia teaches most styles herself, including contemporary, jazz, hip hop, tap and even burlesque (for adults, teens and children), however, they also offer ballet classes taught by Royal Academy of Dance (RAD)-qualified teachers. Whether you’re wanting to just let loose, develop your technique, perform on the stage, or complete dance examinations, they have a spot open on the dancefloor. Attesting to their success is the fact that FootworX is celebrating 10 years of business this October!

 

The years of experience are evident as Natashia was clear, precise and passionate during the class. Each movement of the choreography was carefully presented, with sequences repeated until muscle memory took over and they became second nature. What we found extremely helpful was that Natashia slowed down the music and, as we practised and became more confident, she slowly sped it up until we were dancing to the “actual” speed of the music – what looked like fast-paced choreography became very manageable!

 

We were able to (almost) master a hip hop routine and had a lot of fun, all while breaking a sweat! Make sure you get in touch with Natashia at 082 560 7861 to book your class.

 

Finally, we paired up for a beginners Latin and ballroom class with the studio Passion for Dance. Ryno Van Den Berg and Elena Tokarenko started their dance classes in Ballito in 2020 but have been dancing together for many years. The two are seven-time South African Latin American professional dance champions and have represented South Africa 13 times in world dance championships, among other achievements.

 

If you want to learn to perfect Latin American and ballroom dance, their classes are a must-attend. They also offer beginners classes for those who want to dance socially and private lessons to teach couples some moves for their first dance at their wedding. The pair taught us the basics of boogie-woogie and mambo. Although the sequences were challenging, Ryno broke down each step carefully, and every move was repeated numerous times to perfect it before moving on to the next. When all these simple steps were put together with our partner, magic happened! Ryno and Elena often demonstrate the sequences – it’s breathtaking watching them dance together.

 

Ryno shares that even when couples don’t get the choreography right in the first or even third class, he often sees them flourish later on, as the moves just “click”. Lucky for us, they have a new beginners group class for singles and couples starting 6 September! To join the class, contact Ryno on 079 188 5768.

 

Opening photo by Comfort Shooting

Words by Jordyn Trollip