Ballet dancers enjoy beautiful new studio

Aspiring ballet dancers from Marvin Park Primary seen with instructor Gail Hattingh, on the deck of their new ballet studio.

Ballet dancers forming part of the programme run by Imibala Creative Arts Department, are now privileged to hone their tippy-toe artform, in an all new, upgraded state-of-the-art ballet studio.

Imibala Trust, an NPO based in Bright Street, Somerset West, has with the assistance of generous donors, succeeded in completely overhauling and transforming the former Imibala art gallery, into a spanking new, well-equipped, impressively designed, ballet studio.

The NPO says, the only remaining structures of the existing building were the external walls, other than that, everything had to be constructed from scratch. The upgrade was completed in December 2021.

Some of the features in the new ultra-modern studio, include elegant lighting, wall-to-wall mirroring, bathrooms, an advanced sound system and Italian flooring.

Classical notes flowing out of a grand piano, accompanies the guided instruction of Gail Hattingh, well-known, admired, and respected teacher from the Gail Hattingh School of Ballet.

In addition to its impressive construction, the ballet studio, quite intentionally boasts with a sprung floor, creating the ultra-professional dance experience.

“Sprung floors are considered the best kind for dance and indoor sports and physical education, and can enhance performance (and greatly reduce injuries), sound-absorbing ceiling, state-of-the-art sound system,” explains Lana Rheeder, from Imibala.

She excitedly showed Bolander around the studio, while young dancers, clad in lavender leotards, flowing tutus, and custom-fitted ballet shoes, practice the instructed movements. The required ballet gear is supplied by the NPO.

There are currently 55 children from three local primary schools attending the ballet classes on weekday afternoons. Bolander witnessed pupils from Marvin Park Primary in Macassar excitedly arrive for their classes.

Imibala CEO, Theo Willemse, on the day observed some of the ballet classes. In answer to what their purpose was in constructing the new studio, he said: “We spared no cost to create this excellent studio because we want the children, who often come from disadvantage areas, to be exposed to and experience excellence. With the studio we want to show them you are worthy of the best. Everything in the studio is top-notch.

“Our purpose is still to expose as many children as possible to our programmes,” Mr Willemse echoes Imibala’s primary mission.

Donors are welcome to assist with other expenses the ballet studio may experience. Ms Rheeder shares how the ballet shoes can be a costly expense, as it needs to be individually measured and fitted.

For more information on all the other programmes run by the NPO, or to donate to the ballet school, contact Imibala Trust on 021 852 0418 or visit, imibala.com

Dancers during a dance lesson last week on Thursday May 5, in the new studio in Bright Street, Somerset West.