All-African Dance Championships declared a success |04 September 2023
The first ever All-African Artistic Dance Championships in Seychelles where non-elite and masters in artistic dance clashed in a competition at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Hotel, ended with an award ceremony on Saturday evening and a celebration to commemorate their 10-year anniversary.
The competition brought together around 200 dancers from around the globe and offered spectacular performances by kids and adults.
Presenting the awards were Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism Sylvestre Radegonde, chief executive of the Seychelles National Youth Council Albert Duncan, general manager of Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay hotel Rizal Bin Yaacob, Jose Sinon the owner of Jose’s Café and a representative from Cable & Wireless Seychelles.
In his address, the president of World Artistic Dance Federation (WADF), Sir Nils-Hakan Carloz said he was delighted to be in Seychelles for this event and expressed his gratitude, wholeheartedly to the performers and the invited guests at the ceremony.
“Celebrating 10 years of existence, I wish the best of luck to all dancers, you all cannot win but you will bring back to your homes wonderful memories from this event,” said Sir Carloz.
The eventful soirée, which was a continuation of the competition which began on Friday September 1, showcased beautiful performances of artistic dance such as the rumba, marenga, salsa, drive, cha cha and was also animated by Seychelles traditional dances such as the sega and the moutya by the Anse Boileau pupils.
Seychelles’ dancers performed well and won several categories ranging from mini-kids to masters.
Speaking to Seychelles NATION, Dr Lucia Banane, a member of WADF Seychelles and who was also competing in the dance championships, described the soirée as a successful one, with the young Seychellois performers winning quite a few gold medals and trophies.
“Everything was on point since the welcoming ceremony earlier and the kids performed above expectations and made us very proud,” said Dr Banane.
Dr Banane, who was competing in the masters’ category, won different dance categories such as the drive, marenga and others.
“I cannot express how grateful I am for achieving all these awards with the fatigue from the two days and being committed in assisting with logistics for the event. But I worked hard and earned my success,” stated Dr Banane.
She also mentioned that international dancers performed really well in their categories and were very happy to be in Seychelles. “We wanted everyone to succeed and upon their return home we will have a report on Seychelles,” added Dr Banane.
She stated that as a member of the WADF, Seychelles was currently in discussion with their partners to begin planning for next year’s championship.
“Everyone will be on board with us to discuss how to make the second All-African Artistic Dance Championships bigger and better than this year, where there is more international interest and more local dance studios to participate,” said Dr Banane.
She thanked all their sponsors and also their technical team for making this event a success.
In a short interview with Seychelles NATION, a dance couple from South Africa who were competing in the adults and masters’ category, Johnny Mabena and Victoria Sibande said the championships were quite tough and they had been competing since morning. However, they were also enjoying their time in the Seychelles.
Sibande, who has been dancing since 2014, said it was a nice experience and every dancer needs to do their best for such a championship, whereas Mabena who has been dancing since 2010, said you must always have the will to go on and endure.
They both said it was good to get exposed to the outside world and Seychelles was a good experience.
The competition was done in collaboration with the Seychelles National Institute of Culture Heritage and the Arts (Snicha), and the Seychelles National Youth Council (SNYC) and brought together six nations from Europe, Asia and Africa, namely Russia, Serbia, Philippines, South Africa, Ghana and Seychelles.
Text and photos Neil Sirame