By: Newton Kalua

A young lady from Germany, Hanna Becker, visited Music Crossroads Academy (MCA) to teach the academy’s Hear Us Band an interesting dance called classical Ballet dance.

Ballet dance is a theoretical dance in which a formal academic dance technique is combined with artistic elements like music or stage scenery which originated in the period of the Italian Renaissance, and later developed in a concert dance form in France and Russia until it got the global widespread.

Becker, who comes from Cologne, a city in northwestern Germany, started teaching MCA students on 26 July up to 2 August, 2019 and she is a student at Gymnasium Essen-Werden, a school that trains dancers in Germany.

“My dance style is classical Ballet and contemporary dance. My father is working here in Malawi, and I wanted to use the time sensibly and I offered some free service to Music Crossroads to teach, a move that has ended in some sort of a cultural exchange, which is important,” she said in an interview.

The seventeen year-old also praised the way the students were grasping her dance moves when she was teaching them, a thing that really made her proud.

Commenting on the matter, she said: “somehow you know dance is a language too and we can understand it all so it was a great, easy job.”

Most African artists combine singing and dancing, which is also something Hanna witnessed during her time with MCA students.

When asked about her observation in the way music and dance is blended at the academy, she said: “I have learnt that in Malawi you have a good theme of rhythm and you combine singing and dancing, an element which is quite different to Europe because we don’t do that. So it is really nice to see these traditional dances, and that makes me happy.”

“I didn’t expect much but I have learnt to have fun in dancing again. They (the students) really showed me that it is so much more than just doing exercises, but feeling the music and feeling what you do,” adds Becker.

In an interview with Cynthia Duma, one of the members from the Hear Us Band, she appreciated Becker’s contribution to the band, since every member of the group found no difficulties to understand her teachings.

Duma said: “we really understood everything she has taught us. We have learnt how to dance Ballet, like how we can be able to move our bodies from place to place. I also learnt a similar dance when I went to Spain in 2017, but Hanna has taught us in a more different way since there were some extra elements in her teachings which I feel were a little more detailed.”

“I only knew how to dance cultural dances like Manganje, Chisamba and Ching’andi, so I am happy to have added yet another dance (Ballet) to my list, she added.

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