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DTZ takes dance to the vulnerable

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THE Dance Trust of Zimbabwe (DTZ) will on Saturday host this year’s Dance Festival as part of their outreach programme, teaching dance free of charge to approximately 400 underprivileged and physically or mentally challenged children.

Report by Tinashe Sibanda

About 13 schools which cater for different physical and mental disabilities together with some children’s homes, including St Giles, Jairos Jiri, Zimcare Trust, Emerald Hill School for the Deaf and Harare Children’s Home, will participate.

“The programme has been running for about 20 years with an outreach team of six dance teachers teaching free of charge to approximately 720 children in Harare,” said DTZ administrator Eve Stranix.

She said through the programme, they give pupils an opportunity to perform in front of an audience and interact with other institutions.

Stranix said the programme relied solely on donor funding. She invited people to witness dancers from different institutions performing to show that “disability does not mean inability”.

Dancers from the National Ballet are expected to open the festival and the outreach team will close the festival by performing the set they presented at Starlight Dancing 2012.

“The programme so far only operates in Harare due to financial constraints and all the teachers completed a three-year Dance Foundation Course at the DTZ where, after showing an attitude for teaching, they were invited to join the outreach team,” said Stanix.

The teachers include Jonathan Kamupando, Tawanda Njanja, Austin Sydney, Catherine Douglas, Choice Satiyi and Erina Sydney.

An attempt is made annually to stage an outreach dance festival in order to enable the children, who are participating, to meet and display their acquired skills through performances of dance routines.

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