Dancing taught me how to be a man
There’s no substitute for reality. Television and its grandchildren have allowed us to see more, but the comforting distraction they afford can cause us to experience less. While digital media can be a useful educational tool for exposing young minds to the scope of the world, it can’t replace real life. This is the foundational idea behind Letlhogonolo Nche’s Journey, an initiative that aims to take dance off the screen and into the lives of township children.
Nche found freedom through physical performance when he was a boy, though to hold onto it he was forced to fight the ridicule of his peers. He would not be told that he should not move his body a certain way, that it just wasn’t for men. Because dance made him feel alive. After matriculating, Nche’s perseverance was rewarded when he earned a scholarship to pursue his passion at Moving into Dance Mophatong. “Dancing has taught me resilience and how to love something unconditionally,” he reflects.
Still in the beginnings of his career, Nche felt compelled to return home to the Northern Cape to develop the art in his community. “Dancing is my purpose,” he says. “It’s what feeds my soul and guides me in the right direction.” His chargeless programme gives girls and boys of all ages the opportunity to have dance influence the course of their lives, promoting the creativity and freedom of self that is essential to healthy development.