“Mal Oor Dans” Competition Focused on Changing Lives
They say it loud and proud: “Ons is mal oor dans” (We love to dance). Uttered by primary and high school learners from diverse communities, this expression coloured a picture of euphoric dance performers who competed on stage in the “Mal Oor Dans” competition at the Dulcie September Centre in Athlone on Friday, 22 March 2013.
The dance competition was hosted by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), the City of Cape Town (CoCT) and others. Themed “Be smart, don’t start!” the competition was aimed at giving learners, representing schools from the Metro region, the opportunity to showcase their dancing talent in various categories. Most of these schools all form part of the DCAS Mass Participation, Opportunity and Access, Development and Growth (MOD) programme.
Another key aspect to the event was the focus on alcohol and drug abuse awareness. The CoCT Social Development and Early Childhood Development unit made a valuable contribution to raising awareness around these social issues through on-stage dance and drama expositions. The distribution of stationery, posters and t-shirts to learners sustained this initiative. Prizes were also handed over to outstanding individual and group performers.
The dancers had a fun-filled experience. Annie Wu of Lavender Hill High said as a shy person, the unifying “vibe” on the day made her feel comfortable as she loves dancing. “This was my first time that I have ever participated in one of the department’s dance initiatives. The coaches also played a key role, so it was kind of “cool”. I hope more dance competitions can be hosted where everyone gets the opportunity to dance the crowd off its feet,” said Wu.
Cllr Suzette Little of CoCT highlighted the need for similar dance competitions to eradicate crime affecting communities. “This competition did not only give learners the opportunity to dance but also increased their knowledge around social issues which, we believe, can contribute to future responsible citizens.”
The event showed that partners can introduce other innovative initiatives that can collaborate with the MOD programme with the outcome to potentially change young lives, using sport and recreational activities.