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Mareka to resuscitate the dance industry

2023-10-06  Strauss Lunyangwe

Mareka to resuscitate the dance industry

Veteran dancer and owner of Equipped Dancing Academy Stanley Mareka (African Cobra) is on a mission to revive the dance industry with his new initiative called ‘The
Outburst’ which will be a national dance festival next weekend.

Outburst is an initiative intended to attract new and established dancers to come out from their shells and showcase diversity. Mareka lamented that dancing in the country is not foreseen to many as a professional career that does not always get the necessary support in the entertainment industry. “Probably Namibia is the only country without national dance events except for private functions. I blame no one because it’s not an easy country to host such big events consistently.

I also noticed that everyone wants to
work with dancers, but no one wants to invest in the dance industry,” he explained.

The Outburst is a platform where dancers can perform and network amongst themselves. The aim is to have it yearly where they can identify dancers that can be chosen for certain projects during a calendar year.

The event will consist of categories such as contemporary, amapiano, afrobeat, hip-hop, and kwasakwasa just to mention a few. “Even if you come do motion dance or theatre dance or just sit and listen to music on stage and only move your fingers, go ahead. People need to understand the different forms of dancing,” he said.

Mareka appreciates the work Ombetja Yehinga Organisation and the Dance Sport Namibia Federation (DSN) are doing in terms of keeping the dance culture alive as a lot of youth are out of school but prefer to keep busy learning what dancing entails. “How do we send dancers internationally if there are no accredited professionals to represent Namibia? How do we just select dancers to win dance awards if there is no proper system? This is what brought about this vision.”

Dancers will also automatically qualify for DSN as dance athletes which could open up more opportunities for them, as the association is part of the World Dance Federation.

The creative director feels The Outburst is the next big thing for the country as he plans to get a pool of professional and talented dancers. “As I am the president of the Dance Sport Federation Namibia along with my executives, we had been battling with the groundwork first. But now we are a fully registered sports body that will be able to send dancers to major dance competitions.”

Gerald Johr, the general manager of Radio Energy said they have been working hard for the past two years to get the dancing culture back into ENERGY100 and it was the obvious choice for them to support The Outburst. “Our radio station also has a long history of collaborating events with Equipped Dance Academy and has always received the necessary exposure and credits from these collaborations. 

Our business philosophy is to be a positive influence in the lives of the youth and societies that we serve. Our wishes are that everyone will come and support The Outburst,” he said.

“We can participate in any championship international through a direct channel and we can also coach dancers and be part of the Olympic Games selection according to the criteria. Finally, Namibia is recognised on the map but we still have a long way to go,” he concluded.

The 2024 Summer Olympics are scheduled to run from 9 to 10 August at Place de la Concorde, marking the sport’s official debut in the programme and the
first dance sport discipline to appear in Summer Olympic history.

The Outburst will be hosted at Palm Tree Park across the TransNamib railway station. Tickets will cost N$30 and N$60 at the gate, exhibition stalls are available to the public including live DJs and refreshments. Interested dancers can contact the organisers at 0814537092 or reach out to them on social media.

2023-10-06  Strauss Lunyangwe

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