Lack of resources hinders dance industry progress

Baatshwana on the left with fellow dancer Lebogang Disele
Baatshwana on the left with fellow dancer Lebogang Disele

Lack of resources is hindering the progress of the dance industry to the extent that some have lost hope in excelling.

Speaking to Showbiz dance consultant, Tumisang Baatshwana complained that a number of factors including lack of funds and dance studios play a major role in the stagnation of the local dance industry. 

“There is a great apperception for dance.  It can be noticed through the exposure we get, however, dancers still struggle to get spaces for rehearsals, there are no studios dedicated to dancers,” contemporary dancer, Baatshwana said.

She stated that the current venues that they are using for rehearsals are not suitable for dance practice, because they are made of ordinary floor material. “Studios should have sprung floors which ensures that our bodies are well protected. One is likely to get injured on a cement floor,” she explained.

A number of dance groups have failed to acquire dancing space with some taking advantage of mall car parks and open spaces at the University of Botswana. Baatshwana, who recently performed at Maitisong with the Sky Blue Dance Hub added that failing to acquire or rent dancing venues is caused by lack of funds and poor payments that dancers receive.  “Dance projects are not as valued as others.  Getting funds can be difficult, with funds we can be able to do a number of things such as hiring venues and professional choreographers,” she explained.

She further said as a result many have given up on applying for funds because it has not been fruitful. A number of dance groups have gone to the extent of using their own money to host events and dance workshops. The passionate dance consultant told Showbiz that dance could bring a number of opportunities in the country if there is proper attention.

American dance chorographer, Reyna Joy Banks promised to help the local industry after she was informed of challenges facing the dance industry at a dance workshop held at Maitisong recently. Despite challenges and difficulties in the dance industry, Baatshwana encouraged her counterparts to stay strong until there is a positive change in the industry.

The local dance industry has produced a number of dancers such as Andrew Kola who heads Mophato Dance Crew, Heath Lambert who is now a dance teacher and the Mangiroza brothers who have gone to perform at international events with their crew TNT.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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