BY KIMBERLY KARIATI
LOCAL choreographer and events director at the National Dance Association of Zimbabwe, Takudzwa Taabvunga, says dance should be taken seriously as it plays a pivotal role in cultural preservation and storytelling.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Taabvunga said dance goes beyond entertainment as it educates and influences people’s lifestyles.
“People often think that dancers are drug abusers and uneducated. They do not take us seriously as they limit us to entertainers,” he said.
“We are more than that, we are athletes that can stand for the nation, artists that can influence people and provide moving artworks and trainers that can offer cardiology exercises and Zumba dance.”
He said dance could be used to preserve culture.
“Through performances of traditional dances and passing them on to the next generation of dancers, we can preserve our culture. We are a movement that people take for granted and judge without asking,” he said.
“I want to thank all dancers who have changed dynamically to suit the present generation.
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“We have become opponents of drug abuse, early childhood marriages and tacklers of social issues affecting communities through shows and endorsements,” he said.
“This has changed the mindset of people on how they see dancers. Several associations have given youth jobs and opportunities. The art has removed youth from the streets and has supported the new education system as culture has become part of it.”
He said dance was a rewarding career that required dedication for one to gain recognition and value.
“Dance can be a source of income, but for me it is more than that. The art form brings joy to the audience, this is what drove me into dancing. l am able to express myself through dance,” he said.
“It is my therapy since l release my emotions and feelings.
“All l can say is that dancing is life to me. I had opportunities to work with various artists such as dancehall singer Jah Signal, Brian K and Coco We Africa.”
Having performed at various festivals, the choreographer dreams of showcasing Zimbabwe’s culture through dance.
“I would like to create an art hub that helps every youth with the gift and passion of art.
“I also want to register my company that helps the underprivileged and dance with a purpose,” he said.
“The best moment in my career was when my family started to support me as a dancer and that changed misconceptions associated with dance.
“I wish to bring positive change in society through dance so that more people can open their minds to it.”
Follow Kimberly on twitter @ izellekimkari