City teenager perfects his dance skills in Switzerland
CITY teenager Joshua Williams is dancing up a storm in Switzerland after years of having his skills honed by local dance teachers.
His mother, Candice Jooste, said it all began before Joshua (now 14) was a year old.
“By 10 months old, he refused to crawl but started walking and practically running. He showed a love and passion for music, and was forever dancing, doing splits,” she said.
When Joshua was 5 years old, his mother went to fetch him from preschool and found him hanging on the gym bars.
“His teacher told me that the parents were asking ‘whose child is this, that his parents are teaching him to do splits and somersaults?’”
By Grade 1, Joshua was helping his teachers with the choreography for the end-ofyear concert.
One day Joshua, then aged 8, was dancing around while his parents were at the post office in Bayside Centre when he was spotted by Elkanah House drama teacher Julie Dickson, who advised his parents to contact Tamsin Williams, a dance teacher at the school.
Joshua received a scholarship to join Elkanah House, where he did modern dance and hip hop classes.
Three months later he went home with the first prize at a dancing competition at Grand West. The following year, Joshua entered the National Eisteddfod Academy’s annual eisteddfod competition in Sea Point and won in all the categories he entered.
Wanting Joshua to polish his skills, Williams referred him to study under Karen Jooste of the West Coast Dance Academy . Nine months into ballet training he entered the ballet eisteddfod and won in the solo and duo performance categories.
In early January last year, when everyone else was still on school holidays, Joshua was hard at work practising for the South African International Ballet Competition.
Joshua did not win in either the classical or contemporary categories but he was rewarded for his efforts with a one-week scholarship to the Zurich Dance Academy in Switzerland by Oliver Matz, the director of dance studies at the academy and one of the judges at the event.
His flight to Zurich was sponsored by Professor GeungSoo Kim, vice president of the Korean Dance Association. The day before Joshua was due to fly back home, Matz said there was an open spot at the academy and invited him to return.
Joshua agreed without a second thought, but needed the consent of his parents. They managed to raise the funds and put young him on a plane in September.
Joshua Williams pleases the crowd.