The Spanish Embassy in collaboration with the Italian non-governmental organisation, Cesv, recently hosted a three-day breakdance workshop with the House of Smiles youths who live and work on the streets in Harare.
The workshop that ran from March 12 to 15 also had a breakdance performance on Friday at the House of Smiles to demonstrate talents of children as part of the cultural programme.
“Those interested in urban culture in general, and breakdance in particular, were very welcome to attend the final show and audiences had a whole new exciting experience which appealed to all ages,” said the Spanish Embassy Cultural Attaché Marina Garcia.
Garcia said the House of Smiles served as a day drop-in centre offering a range of services for street children, and hence offered support to street children from the ages of 0 to 18 years, living in extreme poverty, with family problems or who were victims of HIV and sexual abuse.
She said under-five year old children were accompanied by their mothers who were part of the young mothers of the centre.
“The objective of the workshop was to empower the at-risk and vulnerable children to use their own potential to improve their standard of living through the vehicles of hip-hop and break-dance,” she said.
Garcia said breakdance was a social activity that draws out all of the youth’s positive energy, creating a strong support network to help and encourage the youth to overcome challenges in future.
The selected trainers included choreographer and instructor, John Cole, experienced dancer, Rahim Salomon, and theatre teacher Fidelis Burowa — a talented breakdancer from the dance group Flip Floppers.
The Flip Floppers, winners of the Battle of the Year of Zimbabwe dance competition regarded as the premier b-boying tournament in the world, and frequently referred to as the “World Cup of B-Boying”, are one of the best dance groups in Zimbabwe.
“These professionals, during the four days, taught different breakdance styles such as b-boy breakdancing, popping, locking, robot, house, freestyle, old school hip-hop, new school and acrobatics,” said Garcia.
She said entry was free for artists, dancers and all those who were interested in contributing to the development of opportunities of the youth who live and work at the streets.