In mid-September and on 28 October, local dance students took part in their International Social Ballroom Dance grading, held at Kingswood College, Grahamstown. The grading was arranged by owner of local dance school, Dance With…, Francois van Eck. Thirty students from across the schools as well as twelve adult members were examined by Peter Mann from Port Elizabeth. Mann is a member and Treasurer of the South African Dance Teachers Association (SADTA) and has been teaching social and competitive dancing for more than thirty years.
Students were examined at various levels, from Beginner to Level 3. Each student performed between two and eight different dances, making a grand total 210 dances being executed. 164 diplomas were awarded; with an impressive breakdown of 50 Honours and 114 Highly Commended diplomas issued, Van Eck was delighted with his student’s results. Mann commented that he was very impressed with the quality of dancing produced from the students, as they performed dances such as the Foxtrot, Waltz, Argentine Tango, Rumba, Boogie, Mambo, Cha Cha, Swing and Samba.
“Dancing is a useful skill and although taught at a social level, receiving an internationally recognised diploma is an additional achievement for students,” said Van Eck.
Beyond learning steps, Ballroom and Latin American dancing teaches creativity, expression, confidence, self-control, etiquette, adaptability and social skills, as well as being a great form of exercise and stress release.
Van Eck teaches Ballroom and Latin American dancing. He teaches at the schools in the afternoons and private individuals, couples or groups in the evenings; he also offers wedding choreography.