MOD Coach with Latin Flavour
28 February 2014
Shanee de Beer, one of South Africa’s top dancers, is a dance coach in the Mass participation; Opportunity and access; Development and growth (MOD) Programme at the Bokmakierie Primary School in Athlone, Cape Town. “I started teaching at the Bokmakierie MOD Centre in 2012 and have gained so much since then. There are a lot of talented dancers there and I hope to get them into competitions soon,” she says.
At the age of 7, Shanee went to her first dance lesson. Her mother Verona, an avid dancer herself, wanted to give her daughter an early start. Since then, Shanee has won three junior national titles (one for ballroom and two for Latin), the national title for Latin (adult section), came 7th at the under-16 World Latin Championships in London, and came 2nd in the ETV series Superdance.
Shanee (23) and her partner Daniel Jacobs (21) have set their sights on a world title. They will be travelling to the Czech Republic to participate in the World Latin Dance Championships in October 2014. “We are going there to win gold. We have planned to take part in the German Open in August so that we can prepare and get world class coaching,” she said.
Her mother has been offered steadfast support throughout her dance journey. Although it was hard at times, Verona wanted to see her daughter doing what she loves. “There have been times when we struggled to cope financially but we were willing to make the necessary sacrifices.” Shanee shows her appreciation by putting in the hard work. She goes to dance training three times a week and fitness training in between, only stopping to rest on Sundays. “It’s important for us to stay on top of our game – we are competing against the best in the world!”
Kim Isaacs, who has been coaching Shanee since she was 8, says her positive attitude has propelled her to the very top of the Latin dance ladder in South Africa. “She is talented, hardworking and determined. She is about to have the experience of a lifetime and is working hard to make the most of it.”
Shanee and her partner are looking for funds to compete in the Czech Republic and in Germany. “The short time between events means that it’s not cost-effective to travel up and down so we plan to stay in Germany and prepare there.” To Shanee this is just another step towards her dream of becoming the number one dancer in the world. “I want to travel and work with the best Latin dancers in the world. I also want to open dance studios, so that I can share my passion with others.”