South Africa: Dancing to a New Tune - Ballet Classes With Visors and Masks


The performing arts sector has been badly hit by the lockdown, with many artists struggling to make ends meet. Now, the Cape Town City Ballet is slowly resuming classes on a reduced schedule. While there are no rehearsals just yet, dancers are donning visors and masks and working hard to regain their strength and fitness levels.

It soon became apparent to 23-year-old Mikayla Isaacs, a dancer with Cape Town City Ballet, that using a dining room chair as a barre was not going to cut it. As soon as lockdown started, she and her stepfather took a trip to a hardware store and bought materials to build a support structure for her daily practice.

Ballerina Mikayla Isaacs. (Photo: Ruth Smith Photography/@RuthSmithCreates) Ballerina Mikayla Isaacs (Photo: Ruth Smith Photography/@RuthSmithCreates) Ballerina Mikayla Isaacs (Photo: Ruth Smith Photography/@RuthSmithCreates)

"I felt quite proud and it was good to practice with a structured barre instead of a chair. Mentally, if you see a ballet barre you're tuned in [to your practice]," she says.

Cape Town City Ballet closed their doors on 16 March when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country would go into lockdown. Since then, dancers have continued fitness and ballet classes at...

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