The Nomsa Manaka Dance Studio continues to rise above adversity

Author: JT Comms
Date: 13 Sep 2021

Veteran dance teacher, choreographer and actress, Nomsa Manaka, will be moving her dance studio to Funda Centre in Diepkloof from the Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown after it was irreparably vandalized in December of 2020. The studio that is named after its founder and principal dance instructor, Nomsa Manaka Dance Studio, since opening its doors in 2015, until recently, was regarded as one of the only few well-built professional dance studios in Soweto that provided cultural practitioners of other disciplines with a well-equipped rehearsal and practice space. The studio reflected Manaka’s life-long passion; teaching and promoting the importance of indigenous dances and rhythms of Southern Africa.

The studio has had to shut down and become non-operational since the damage. Out of letters and words of encouragement from mothers of children who were part of the dance classes, from aspiring dancers and the general public alike, Manaka was determined to reopen the dance studio again.

It was not until recently that Manaka secured a space for the studio, at the very place where her artistic roots were natured and her journey began: the iconic Funda Art Centre in Diepkloof.

It was here that the legendary dancer, choreographer, actress, mother and survivor of cancer became a pioneer, the first to introduce African dance styles to the township during the 80’sandto fuse the different dances from other African countries with South Africa’s contemporary township-pantsula-jive styles in the township, making her a household name, and since then Manaka has travelled the world performing to sold-out shows, choreographing unforgettable movements and inspiring a whole new generation of dancers.

“My greatest dream if anything is to see our children learning more about who we are and where we come from through our indigenous dances, and to make sure that all traditional dances and rhythms of South Africa are treated with and given the respect and dignity they deserve.” passionately shares Manaka, “and lastly, I would love to see the Nomsa Manaka Dance Studio become a space where everyone is welcomed, respective of race, colour, gender or nationality. I see the studio becoming a home where all cultures can belong, where people from all walks of life can share, learn, grow and inspire through music and dance.” She adds.

As the dance studio plans to move into Funda Centre by the 2nd of October, various fundamental resources are still needed before its doors can be opened. Nomsa and her team of dance instructors are appealing to South Africans to assist with donations and contributions towards the studio’s lack of facilities such as; mirrors, a dance floor, wooden ballet bars, a sound system, among others.

This move to Funda Centre is momentous for Manaka who fondly lauds the place for placing her name on the world map. This award-winning icon has an exciting programme of action kicking off on the 2nd of October with a children’s class, followed by a full dance class for older students on the 4th of October. Performances lined up include the children’s day performance on the 6th of November and lastly, a big dance collaboration concert to close off the year on the 11th of December 2021.

For media enquiries and interview requests please contact media@jtcomms.co.za or call 011 788 7632

Issued by JT Communication Solutions on behalf of Nomsa Manaka Dance Studio

Note to Editor

  • This campaign is powered by Mindshare in partnership with JT Communication Solutions cc
  • The Nomsa Manaka Dance Studio was opened in 2015 at The Walter Sisulu Square to teach ballet, hip-hop and other popular dance styles.
  • It was one of the only few professional dance studios based in Soweto. 
  • The studio was broken into twice, and in December 2020, it was vandalized and all electricity points damaged.
  • Nomsa Manaka is an award winning living legend and a cancer survivor, who returns to the roots of her legacy, where it all began at the famous Funda Art Centre in Diepkloof.
  • The Nomsa Manaka Dance Studio finds a new and safe space to call home at Funda Centre

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JT Comms continues to constantly evolve, remain organic and successfully scale its operations to a 360-degree digital agency and is a conduit in producing effective and relevant African content that’s definitive and packaged for digital penetration. The agency has launched new innovations such as hosting “Business Master Classes” and launching an online TV station, which hosts diverse projects such as ECAfrica, Bunnies in the Burbs and Amplifying African Excellence. JT Comms significantly differentiates itself from its competitors by being relevant and providing tailored solutions and a resource for media players in sourcing African content. www.jtcomms.co.za

About Nomsa Manaka

  • The launch of “Petro SA” in Cape Town
  • The Ubuntu award for Winnie Mandela
  • Choreographed a group of 150 artists for the collaboration of the Brazil Carnival as part of the 10 year Democracy celebrations
  • Choreographed for the opening of Parliament and The fashion Week’ in Brazil and Singapore. Conducted dance workshops in Ireland, London, Switzerland, Germany, Singapore, China, Thailand and USA.
  • She holds various honors awards of achievements, amongst them, ‘The Johnny Walker Black Label Achievement Award’. She was recognized as one of the 25 most fascinating Black Women in South Africa by Ebony Magazine, True Love Magazine as one of the top 100 women of the century, and was also recognized by City Press newspaper in their list of honors- the A to Z Amazing Women ‘Abafazi’ of the 20th century. She also appears in the Kwanzaa honors list in the USA. She is the 2019 and 2020 Best Creative Award recipient Vita Basadi Award from the Gauteng Legislature. The recipient of the 2020 Special Award by Ishashlazi Awards for Development of Theatre.
  • She currently runs a dance studio in Kliptown at the Walter Sisulu Square called Nomsa Manaka Dance Studio, where children, youth and adults learn different types of dances.
  • Nomsa Manaka choreographed and directed the following to mention a few, the highly acclaimed dance shows - Sego – The African Calabash, Dance Unity 1994, Midnight in Paris performed in France, Izwelethu performed at the American Dance Festival in North Carolina at the Duke University. Rainbow of hope, Children of Asazi, Toro- The African Dream.
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