#SundayRECAP: Riverlea boasts its own ballerinas [+Photos]

Tamia Milton, Roche and Jasmine.

Every Saturday the Riverlea Recreation centre is full of little girls running around looking like ballerinas. Well, it turns out, they were little ballerinas.

Simone van der Nest is the teacher of the ballet classes which started conducting the last holiday programme at the hall. Van der Nest explained that she was a student at the hall many years ago and found a love for dance there.

“I enjoy ballet more because it is more feminine and it’s a more free form of dance. I’m only teaching ballet at the moment and it’s syllabus ballet which is not the updated one, but from next year I will be doing the updated one with the students, ” she said.

Van der Nest teaches little ones from the ages of four to nine years old and she only takes on the little ones if they are able to concentrate in the class or else they will have to join at a later stage. She also has a class from 10 years old to 12 years old.

She also offers graded ballet, which will be introduced next year when the girls will be eligible for dance exams.

“I have to register the girls and they will go through the Royal Academy of Dance, which is a certified dance institute. From there, the girls will be able to do ballet on a professional scale if they’d like to”, added van der Nest.

At the moment she is teaching about 15 to 20 girls and as this was a trial run to gauge the interest in the community, the classes were absolutely free for all the students.

Ballet is like school, there are different grades so, if the girls are still willing and passionate about the classes, they will have to start attending it like a school where they will graduate or move to the next year. Once the girls have completed each exam, they will also receive certificates from the Royal Dance Academy.

Her classes were held every Saturday at the Riverlea Recreational Centre and classes will close on December 9 and reopen when the schools open.

“I started with ballet as I saw that there was a need in the community after I was approached by a number people who knew that I danced. I was reluctant at first, but then I just did it and the attendance was superb as was the support I received from the girls and their parents.

“This was a successful trial and I wish to grow with my girls next year,” concluded van der Nest.”


The little ballerinas.

Tamia Milton, Roche and Jasmine.

Cleo Basson.

Cleo Basson, Brooklyn Milton, Emma Ditlhong and A’eesha Ally.

Cassidy Milton, Carmel Morris, Tiana Fortoen and Cleo Basson.

(l-r) Cleo Basson, Brooklyn Milton, Emma Ditlhong and A’eesha Ally.

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Janice Beckett

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