Soweto Junction teaches students at UJ basic Pantsula dance moves. Photo by Ntozanele Libimbi

Students Mark the End of Orientation Week with Pantsula Dance Moves

Students at UJ’s Auckland Park Bunting Road campus took part in a dance workshop after their First Year Seminar came to an end on Friday, 2nd February.

The workshop hosted by dance crew Soweto Junction focused on the Pantsula dance style. Participating students were from the University’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA).

“If you can walk, you can dance,” said Topollo Ntulo, a member of Soweto Junction.  The workshop was exciting for a lot of students who had never attempted the South African dance genre.

“I had fun; I learnt that some [of the dance] moves are [similar to] what we do on a daily basis when walking. The only difference is adding music and energy to it,” said Ayanda Silinga, a first-year student at FADA.

“I want more Fridays like this. I want Pantsula Fridays,” Silinga added.

Impilo Mapantsula, which means ‘dance is life’ in English, is an association that manages Pantsula dance crews around the country. This was the company’s fourth time teaching basic Pantsula dance moves to UJ first years, according to Sicelo Xaba, who works as a choreographer for Impilo Mapantsula.

Research associate Daniela Goeller’s relationship with Impilo Mapantsula is responsible for the recurring workshops at UJ.

“The reason for having Pantsula dance is because one of the PHD students had a fond interest in it and introduced contacts to the university,” said Francis Tamara, a Marketing Executive for FADA.

“We would love if we had more finance to make Pantsula Friday an official day that will interlink all four campuses [for] which do require funding that the university does not have,” Tamara said.

“It would work better if students created their own forum where different dance genres can be introduced to students. The purpose of having this as part of the seminar is to end it on a high note,” she added.

The First Year Seminar is a UJ students first introduction to student life and is usually filled with presentations and fun activities.

(Contact Ntozanele Libimbi: libimbizane@gmail.com)

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