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A dance group empowers youth in Alexandra

Bastraata Academy, a dance group, gives young people from the township a platform to showcase their talents and pursue their dreams.

A passionate dancer and singer from Alexandra, Nompumelelo ‘Barcadi Queen aka MaVilakzi’ Vilakazi, has formed Bastraata Academy, a dance group that showcases her talent and provides a platform for young dancers to express themselves.

Vilakazi said the inspiration behind the Bastraata Academy is to give children from Alexandra Township a chance to showcase their talent.

Read more: Alex Arts Academy hosts Theatre and Dance Festival

Bastraata Academy with the author of the Blue Door novel Lisa Becker, at the Music and Trucks Amantombazane Jazz Revival event.
Bastraata Academy with the author of the Blue Door novel Lisa Becker, at the Music and Trucks Amantombazane Jazz Revival event.

“ I’ve been dancing from a young age till now. I’ve been passionate and dedicated to dancing. With the Bastraata Academy, I want to inspire people especially the youth to do what they want so they can accomplish their dreams.”

Vilakazi added that what makes Bastraata Academy different from other dance groups is that it accommodates people of all ages. She is committed to providing a supportive environment where dancers can grow and thrive.

“Bastraata Academy… is offering learning programmes and one-on-one sessions to help people advance their skills. We work harder because we bring our knowledge into existence.”

She added that the group’s journey began with humble beginnings, performing in the streets and taking videos to showcase their talents.

“I wrote a diary of how things would go and how we would budget to cover everything. As the permanently employed leader, I had to use my salary to buy us different items and outfits to fit the representation.”

Bastraata Academy dancers
Bastraata Academy dancers

Bastraata Academy has made significant strides, performing at big stages such as the EFF rally at Alexandra and Scandal.

Also read: Alex fails to make the cut of the street dance world finals at Montecasino

“One of the group’s biggest accomplishments was hosting our dance battle, BS Academy Presents The Intense Battle, which was a huge success. The event was a success with many people who came and provided support while we were showcasing our dedication to our craft.”

Vilakazi said her vision for Bastraata Academy is to become a successful dance group and empower young people to pursue their dreams.

Bastraata Academy dancers on stage at the EFF Rally in Alexandra Stadium.
Bastraata Academy dancers on stage at the EFF Rally in Alexandra Stadium.

“I want to be the next future businesswoman, and entertainment professional and open a dance studio to help the next generation. It has always been my dream to open the biggest warehouse that supplies my community with everything they need and I want to fulfil that dream.”

Related article: Alex Arts Academy hosts Theatre and Dance Festival

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