Dance school raises funds for disabled boy

Delta Dance School members with Francois van Deventer.

Members of Delta Dance School in Retreat have been working hard to put together a show to raise funds for six-year-old Francois van Deventer.

Francois, from Richwood in Bothasig, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was just a year old.

Guest artists at the fund-raiser will include SAGT Dereck Plaatjies, Out Of Africa Dance Academy, Belly Phunk as well as Expresso’s Graeme Richards, who will be the master of ceremonies.

The dancers will showcase various styles that will keep young and old entertained, says former Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer, Robynn Soules.

“Together with Meagan Kleinhans April, a multiple South African ballroom championship, we will be putting together an amazing show.

“We approached (mother) Kim van Deventer after seeing a post on social media about Francois and the difficulty the family has been having raising funds to aid his many needs. Kim and I attended the same primary school and our families grew up in the same area of Retreat so I immediately felt
the need to reach out,” said Robynn.

“Francois is in need of special treatment and physiotherapy and will be undergoing surgery in October to improve his mobility as the lack of proper treatment has caused his muscles to become so stiff that it has completely stifled his mobility,” said Robynn.

Francois’s mother, Kim, said he suffered a lack of oxygen to his brain while she was in labour.

She said he can’t walk, talk or sit up, but only makes sounds. “He also can’t dress. He was diagnosed with (cerebral palsy) shortly after his first birthday.

“The family was affected by this news, especially my husband Cornelius who took it badly. My daughter Kimberly, 5, understands what cerebral palsy is after we explained it to her and she helps me a lot, when I need to take care of Francois.”

She said the fund-raiser of Delta Dance School will help them a
lot and she will definitely be at the show.

Delta Dance School was started in 2000 by principal Maxie Soules who is Robynn’s mother.

They started in a classroom at Delta Primary School and that’s where the group’s name comes from.

Maxie started with about six dancers and was adamant to make it a success.

In the last 10 years, Robynn and brother Clinton Soules have also joined the group as coaches and it moved to Retreat civic centre. Robynn said: “We have seen little kids join the school and grow in their dancing and become young adults. In the last few years we were privileged to move to our own premises in Retreat – The Dance Warehouse, housing ballroom and Latin American, a thriving social dance class and hip hop.”

The fund-raiser for Francois will be held at Bergvliet High Auditorium, on Saturday February 25, starting at 8pm. Tickets will be pre-sold for R80. For more information, visit the Facebook page Delta Dance School Benefit Dance Showcase or call Maxie on 072 143 7133.