The boy who danced his way to happiness
Kyle Grant doesn’t need a stage to start dancing. The urge to move strikes when he’s helping with chores and doesn’t stop as he twirls down the streets of Mitchells Plain. Grant’s interest in classical dance and ballet grew after he played the lead role in his Grade R graduation play. But what really drove him to dance was the divorce of his parents, which left him in a state of back-and-forth between homes. “I felt unsettled and my confidence suffered,” he says. “But when I danced I forgot about everything.”
Unlike other dancers, access to studios, dance classes and fancy shoes was never easy for the Mitchells Plain teenager. “Ballet is not common at all in my neighbourhood,” Grant says. This hasn’t deterred him. When he’s not walking the long distance to Dance for All in Athlone after school to practice, he’s simply dancing wherever he goes. “I learnt to stretch myself beyond my circumstances,” he says.
Despite his financial situation and the stigma of being a male dancer, Grant is always on the move, perfecting his abilities. In 2016, he choreographed and performed his own original piece at the Baxter Dance Festival, becoming the youngest person to do so at the age of 15. Grant dreams of travelling and taking his talent to the world. But more importantly, he wants to one day come back to where it all began and assist those like him who dared to be different.