Indoni: The Early Days
In February 2014, award-winning dancer and choreographer, Sbonakaliso Ndaba (pictured above left), took under her wing, five unemployed youth from the township of Khayelitsha. They were post-matriculants from the Chris Hani School, and had studied dance as their major subject. Sbo had worked with them in previous years when they were at school, but since then, they had neither further education, job opportunities, nor self-worth.
So I decided: I am going to open a school and take them and train them professionally. This is what I have been doing since the beginning of February 2014, without funding, from my pocket, feeding and transporting them. (Sbonakaliso Ndaba).
She decided to train them professionally as dancers, and this small company performed a piece called Just Arrived in September 2104, and in October they performed 2nd Appearance at the Joseph Stone Theatre, in Athlone.
Because of this one dedicated teacher, who had nothing but commitment, and a strand of hope to continue the training she had started almost a year before, a dance group grew to six dancers, with no name, no academy and no prospects. And with the unwavering support of the founders of Indoni, this incredible Academy has flourished.
With a bourgeoning youth population, unable to develop artistically through lack of access to higher education, and out of nothing but pure passion to make a difference, our young dance group has grown to 30 full time students all training at the Indoni Dance, Arts & Leadership Academy, now a registered Not-for-Profit (NPO) organisation.
Early classes and performances
Daily classes were held for the first year at the Masikanye Centre in the township of Gugulethu and our trainees have already wowed audiences with their performances around Cape Town, and especially at Artscape and Jazzart, where the Academy has established a firm reputation for delivering top quality dance performances.
Indoni trainees have also travelled as far afield as Australia, in 2016, where they performed to sell-out audiences at the Africa Festival in Sydney and Perth.