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Friday, September 25, 2009


Visiting US dance troupe to carry excitement at hosting 2010 FIFA World Cup™.

American dance performance troupe, Step Afrika!, got into the groove at the Pretoria State Theatre Plaza last weekend when it learnt the Diski, a local dance based on South Africans’ unique way of playing soccer. The event was attended by South African Tourism 2010 ambassador, Lucas Radebe, as well as embassy staff, their families and local residents who were keen to learn the Diski.

The joint South African Tourism and American Embassy initiative will see the Step Afrika! do the Diski Dance at the end of its future performances, both locally and internationally.

Spearheaded by SA Tourism, the Diski Dance was initially created for an international television advertisement, which was aimed at highlighting South Africa’s readiness to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. It is being screened globally on CNN International, BBC World News, National Geographic, Eurosport and Sky News Sport.

Now the Diski Dance is fast becoming South Africa’s unique calling card. It epitomises the country’s spirit of fun, as well as its humanity, diversity and the Ubuntu of its people, culture and land. Spontaneous bouts of Diski dancing occur at parties, conferences, sporting events and school functions.

SA Tourism Chief Marketing Officer, Roshene Singh, says these acts of spontaneity are what SA Tourism is hoping to achieve with the Diski Dance. “The Diski Dance is part of the Fly the Flag campaign and we want it to be a showcase of the warm South African welcome visitors to this country can expect at the Final draw in Cape Town and at the world cup next year,” she says.

Step Afrika! celebrates “stepping”, a dance form born at African American gatherings and with its roots in African traditions. The troupe’s “stepping” incorporates intricate kicks, stomps and rhythms, combined with spoken words. Step Afrika! was launched in 1994 as a partnership with the Soweto Dance Theatre and for 11 years the American group travelled to South Africa annually to offer free workshops and performances to artists and children.

“With the Diski Dance as part of their repertoire, this talented dance troupe will carry our message of a warm welcome, celebration and us hosting the best World Cup ever far and wide,” adds Roshene Singh.

There’s the Juggle or Teka (juggling the ball from left to right), the Header (bouncing the ball on the head), Table Mountain (flattening the back to keep the ball behind the head), Trepa (a word used to describe flicking the ball from behind the neck, over the head and onto the foot) and the Bridge or Brija (passing the ball over the left foot with the right foot and back again).

South Africans can learn the five basic moves of the Diski Dance on