The North West Province has made a significant contribution towards the country’s creative and cultural industries. As part of its contributions, the various styles of dance have transcended the creative industries’ performance platforms across the length and breadth of South Africa, contributing towards ‘nation building’ and ‘social cohesion’ to more than 200, 000 active dance participants. Many of them also featured strongly in productions that have extended beyond the borders of our country. However, the historical momentum created through the different formal and informal training platforms have somewhat been diluted and even lost, whilst dance has today been turned into an elite social programme.
The creative industry has historically been instrumental in the context of the liberation struggle in South Africa. In particular, protest theatre has been the voice during the time when many of the liberation movements were banned during apartheid. Music has played a prominent role to an extent that many talented musicians were exiled as a result of the mobilizing impact that their work had on the socio-political landscape of our country. The Visual Arts sector also featured in both public art and other conventional art forms. It is also imperative to transform the Visual Art outlook of South Africa and give it a representative and participatory.
In respect of the above, Rumba in the Jungle Development Programme has been identified as the brilliant solution that will encourage participation of dancers in the mainstream economy and dance market. Dance is recognized in the Industrial Policy Action Plan for its ability to remove impediments that keep both rural and urban based people from participating fully in the mainstream economy.
Therefore Rumba in the Jungle Development Programme aims to invest more into community development in order to achieve the requisite number of dancers from the North West province and the entire country, which can competitively play in the mainstream.
THE MISSION AND STATEMENT OF NEED
Rumba in the Jungle Development Programme is voted to acquire a notable national social activity to expand its effective development agenda. Under the name Rumba in the Jungle Development Programme, dance will inspire the general public, and in particular the youth, with a healthy and drug-free programmes, encourage them to exercise and express themselves artistically. Additionally, Rumba in the Jungle Development Programme will provide opportunities for children and teens to serve as role models, and to participate with other youth as they explore the areas of peer -pressure, selfsteem building, and decision-making.
ELEMENTS OF RUMBA IN THE JUNGLE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
- Outreach Programme
- Teachers Training Programme
- Group Lessons
- Private Lessons
Dance has been proven to help young people develop academic skills. Music, dance, and the visual arts help increase learning in such areas as reading, writing, and math. Drawing helps develop writing skills. Songs and poetry make facts memorable and improve retention. Drama makes history more vivid and real. Dance enhances nonverbal communication. These academic skills strengthen young people’s resiliency and help reduce the likelihood that they will become involved with alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs. In addition, youth receive many opportunities from participating in the visual arts. Arts provide opportunities for success and pride in achievement, for perceptual development, and an overall visual awareness and sensitivity to one’s surroundings. These characteristics are known to deter violent behavior and substance abuse.
Rumba in the Jungle’s many endeavors is to reach the South Africans public about the dangers of drugs, it will utilize dance as its primary visual art as it reaches out to youth across the nation with this message of the importance of focusing on healthy activities and remaining drug-free. Dance is a form of communication that is welcome by teachers, students, and parents, and promotes creative thinking and interaction. Youth can use dance and creative movement to explore the importance of working cooperatively with their peers within given rules and structures. Through group problem solving and teamwork, students learn to be aware of others, respect individual perspectives and work collaboratively with peers and adults in the community. Other benefits of dance include:
- Dance provides experiences in using the body as an instrument for non-verbal communication (non-verbal communication is crucial to youth);
- Dance provides experience in translating thought into movement. This is sometimes the only way that a troubled child can communicate;
- Dance increases overall self-awareness through the use of invention, improvisation and exploration;
- Dance is a healthy way to present messages about prevention, especially when used as an enhancement to Educational Materials;
- Dance is a fun, self-esteem building alternative to drugs and violence;
- Dance is a fun form of exercise and helps combat obesity;
- Dance is for everyone.
In addition to the program bringing a valuable and uniquely youth friendly side, it also opens the doors to the grassroots community programs and schools. It is my hope that these schools will benefit from educational classes given by local agents, then turn to the Rumba in the Jungle Development Programme as a “positive alternative” to drugs and negative behaviors. Additionally, the program reaches all ethnic backgrounds and genders.
The potential thread of the existence and vibrant Dance Industry in the country is the continued monopolization and factions that are created in the Industry, which forces the Industry to be more dominated by only a few privileged.
Inadequate financial support derived from funders, except the huge economic sin-offs and desire by most dancers to contribute meaningfully to the country’s profile and branding.
South Africa, as a developing country, where the focus of most businesses is targeted to Sport and very little investment towards the Performing Arts or rather the Dance Industry has denied growth in the sector, nevertheless the huge impact which the Industry is indirectly contributing to the economy. Although it is not yet realized, the Performing Arts Industry has established what is to-date known world-wide as the Hollywood of South African, injecting billions and billions of dollars in the economy of South African.
This is also achievable with South Africa given the needed support. It is our natural fiber, which we do it all the times. We sing and dance when we are mourning. We sing when we are hard at work. We sing and dance when we are happy. We also do it in Parliament. That is who we are and that is what we can best trade with.