There are four pantsula groups in Grahamstown: Grahamstown Pantsula, the Bionic Breakers, Dlala Majimbosi, and Amakokorosh.
The four groups will host a “Strictly come dancing” show tomorrow at the Noluthando community hall. “The community doesn’t recognise us. We urge people to come in big numbers as we will be showcasing our talent,” says pantsuladancer, Ayanda Nondlwana.
Pantsula dance is an explosive and expressive way of dancing with township roots and a reckless gangster mood. Adopted from break-dance and Venda dance, pantsula has choreographed moves with bits and pieces of improvisation from individual dancers.
Many people think of pantsula as a tsotsi dance (thug dance). Yet ironically, it saves the same thugs from the prison doors.
Nondlwana, who resides at Emazizini, fled the harsh life of Gauteng for Grahamstown a few years ago in the hope of “finding myself”.
“I needed a more quiet place where life is not so fast, and Grahamstown was that place,” he said. He also came here to study. While studying, he started Grahamstown Pantsula.
“I grew up dancing for fame, but now it’s more than that.” Nondlwana described pantsula dancing as a way of life.
“It’s art, I live and I breathe it. It’s my life. Moreover, it has saved me from a lot of things.”
This young man decided to go for rehabilitation, and pantsula dancing was all the rehabilitation he needed. He hopes to have his own dancing agency one day.