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Written by: DanceDirectory

Andile Ndlovu is a South African ballet dancer with an extremely promising future. Ballet always fascinated Andile as a young child and he wanted to show that boys, especially black boys can do ballet.

Ndlovu who was born in Ladysmith, Kwa-Zulu Natal and moved to Johannesburg with his family at the age of 10 was not part of the stereotypical crowd who would be doing ballet. Ballet was and still is believed by many to be an elitist art form where mostly white rich folk are a part of.

He took up Latin American dancing at a school in Ennerdale, and his teacher, Patricia Pallman, introduced him to ballet. South African choreographer Martin Schonberg spotted Ndlovu at an outreach programme and because of his financial constraints, Schonberg offered his help and found him a scholarship. Andile became one of Ballet Theatre Afrikans (BTA) most promising dancers in jazz, modern as well as classical ballet.

Andile had a successful start to his ballet career. While at the BTA, Ndlovu performed in several ballets, including Don Quixote, in which he danced the part of Basilio, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and list goes on. He also won the National Society of Dance Teachers (NSDT) modern championships, among others.

At the end of 2007, Ndlovu resigned from the BTA "to do something new" and entered the South Africa International Ballet Competition (SAIBC). He says the move "worked to his advantage". Ndlovu was spotted by Septime Webre, one of the judges of SAIBC and was granted a one year contract at one of the worlds best ballet schools-The Washington Ballet. He was lucky enough to attend the competitions gala evening which was attended by the first lady, Zanele Mbeki on the evening of the competition.

Ndlovu also took part in KYKnets reality show Dans! Dans! Dans! This reality show was broadcast on the television channel. Andile not making it to the final of this reality show said he was not disappointed in himself, instead it gave him drive to work even harder.

Ndlovu hopes that his talent, tied with inspiration from his role models - the world famous Russian male ballet dancers Alexander Pushkin and Rudolph Nureyev - will take him to heights where he will be able to reposition ballet as one of South Africa's more popular and admired art forms, a place where the art forms graceful presence was held about 10 years ago.

Ndlovu says there is a lack of funding for the art form in South African, even though there is plenty of talent in the country. More young people- especially from the black community need to be introduced and become familiar with the art form.

Ndlovu says he can not class himself as a professional dancer yet but wants to be a dancer not only of ballet, but wants to be qualified with a degree in all modern and classical dances.

Ndlovus year contract is just about over with The Washington Ballet. Lets wait and see what his next accomplishment might be-maybe he continues dancing overseas. Even though having a South African who is so talented working abroad, we wish him all the best and sincerely hope he reaches his dreams, which he is working so hard to achieve.


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