A Lavender Hill spiritual dancing group will stage Breathe, a performance of dancing, singing and acting, in Retreat, this Saturday.
The dance group, Ministering Through Dance, is a non-profit company that took root seven years ago when dance teacher Natalia Maligua started an after-school programme with about 25 girls in Lavender Hill.
Ms Maligua has been a dancer since the age of 6 when she took up spiritual dancing at Retreat United Reformed Church under the guidance of Mac Davids and Juliet de Vries.
“I love dancing so much, and it means so much to me. I wanted to expand because it meant so much to me to do spiritual dancing and how much morals and values it instilled in me. Our girls and boys lack those values, morals and discipline, so I took what I know and I’m sharing it with others,” she said.
The 24-year-old hopes to expand the dance group to other communities.
“Purpose is the fuel that keeps a fire burning so we are ministering through dance and we are passionately fulfilling our purpose in our communities so anyone is welcome to join us.”
At the moment, the group has 45 members ranging in age from 4 to 67.
Caid Hartnikk, 9, said she had been dancing for three years and hoped to become a professional dancer one day. “When I dance then there’s a spirit in me, and I forget about everything else, and I can minister through dance and inspire others,” she said.
Jodie Gilton, 18, joined the group earlier this year after seeing one of its productions.
“I feel that I’m growing more spiritually, and dancing is a way I can express myself in a positive way. It’s truly where I find my refuge.”
Malanie Skinner, one of the three coaches who work with Ms Maligua, said: “I know the struggles the children experience because I grew up in the same environment as them – a disadvantaged area.”
She added: “We want to help them grow to become more than the negative they see in their communities because the group isn’t all about dance, it is a family, and Natalia goes the extra mile to help the children in every aspect.“
The group runs a free programme at Levana Primary School on Saturdays, from 9am to 1pm, and all ages are welcome. Breathe will be staged at the Retreat United Reformed Church, on the corner of Boundary Road and 6th Avenue, on Saturday October 6, from noon. Tickets are R120. Call Ms Maligua at 069 383 1048 for more information.