Dancers from the School of Dance in Seychelles have been invited on exchange visits to Peru and Slovakia after winning three prizes at the South Korean dance festival earlier this month.
The 14 dancers and musicians won gold in the funny dance battle and two special prizes in International Dance and the Solo and Duet competitions in the Cheonan World Dance Festival.
Daniella Rose, head of the school of dance said that in the Solo and duet Competition, "We were competing against 13 countries, plus 12 other Korean groups. In fact, the host (South Korea) won the three main prizes with only Seychelles as the international group winning a special prize."
"Following our participation at festival we have been invited for exchanges with Peru and Slovakia, but due to budgetary concern we are not sure whether we will be able to," Rose said
The Cheonan World Dance Festival celebrates the traditional dances, songs and costumes of Korea. The annual event is organised by the Cheonan Foundation for Arts and Culture with the support of the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Founded in 2003, the September 13 - 17th event is the biggest festival organised by South Korea.
Seychelles, a group of 15 islands in the western Indian Ocean, was able to participate in the festival after the National Conservatoire of Performing Arts signed a cultural exchange agreement with the Hannadan Company of the South Korea.
The Hannadan Company was in Seychelles earlier this month to participate in the contemporary style dances in the 9th edition of the 'Biennale des Dance' organised by the Seychelles National Conservatoire of Performing Arts. Rose said that this experience is very enriching for the school, which seeks exposure as well as exchanges to build the capacity of the institution, develop creativity and talents of the local dancers as well as forging new partnerships.
Through the same programme of cooperation, a group from Korea is expected back on the island nation to participate in the forthcoming Creole festival.
Poland, Brazil, Russia, Malaysia, Philippines were some of the countries participating in the Cheonan world dance festival.