The arts can have a positive impact on youth, says Cape Town ballroom dancer

Ballroom dance teacher Angelo Harding said that when pupils came to the dance class after school, they tended to forget about their problems.

Angelo Harding has been teaching ballroom dancing in Brooklyn for the past five years.

CAPE TOWN - A Cape Town ballroom dancer believes that the arts can contribute to the overall success of young people, no matter their circumstances.

Angelo Harding has been teaching ballroom dancing in Brooklyn for the past five years.

The dance school is the only extramural activity for many of the students in the area.

When Harding started teaching dance in 2016, he never knew the impact that the young people would have on him.

His school is situated in Brooklyn, an area facing various challenges like unemployment and crime, while school dropouts are also a concern.

"The young kids in this community, you know, they have something to hold on to. That is the dancing because it takes them out of the slums and out of the mindset of 'I am nothing,'" he said.

Harding said that when pupils came to the dance class after school, they tended to forget about their problems.

"But when they come to ballroom classes it's 'I am everything' and 'I have everything because everything is love' and love is all you give out here. The young kids are just amazing in terms of their perseverance."

He believed that everyone could make a difference in someone else's life and said that by paying it forward, the world could become a better place for all.

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