Cape Junior Ballet Company
The CAPE JUNIOR BALLET COMPANY is a non-profit organization offering professional training, combining a variety of dance styles and selected fitness training.
Our mission is to provide training and performing opportunities to develop talented youth in South Africa, transforming the lives of so many who have not been exposed to dance.
Providing young dancers with specialised training in ballet and contemporary dance.
Giving young dancers performing opportunities in a professional atmosphere.
Opening doors for young dancers to train and perform at an international level.
South Africa is a country bursting with dance talent. There is a need for young people today to develop their aspirations, imagination and skills, and their lives can be greatly enriched they have the chance to be part of the magical experience of dance performance. With this in mind Dianne Cheesman founded the CAPE JUNIOR BALLET COMPANY (CJB) in 2005.
The company started with 45 aspiring dancers between the ages of 11 and 17 years. The dancers represent studios from in and around the Western Cape, South Africa and have been selected through an audition process by a prestigious audition panel. The dancers rehearse every Saturday afternoon and learn a variety of dance styles including classical ballet and neo-classical ballet, modern dance, contemporary dance and African (pantsula). The company provides these young dancers with specialised training, which includes cross training styles such as Pilates, stretch techniques. This includes performing opportunities in a professional atmosphere but also facilitates their transition from the classroom to the stage. They perform annually around South Africa and internationally instilling in audiences the advantages of dance within the community. These dancers learn to develop their own talents and they are encouraged use their talent to uplift those less fortunate.
Extension Training Programme:
CJB has introduced an Extension Training Programme giving young dancers the opportunity of working with professionals to strengthen their technique, preparing them with the skills required to be accepted into the CAPE JUNIOR BALLET COMPANY. This programme requires them to train once a week, every Saturday afternoon (12-1:15pm).
CAPE JUNIOR BALLET (CJB) is a registered NPC (No 2006/027023/08) with a Board of Directors consisting of
Dianne Cheesman-Grant-Smith, John A Day, and Sheila Stirling-Dove.
Looking back over the past 15 years and reflecting on the many opportunities the CJB training programme has provided, I am pleased how it has transformed so many young children into confident dancers, many who have established themselves and are dancing in companies overseas and in South Africa.
I have been fortunate to have the support of many of the dance studios in the Western Cape who recognise our vision and regularly sent dancers to audition to give them this extra professional training.
I am also fortunate to have had the support of the Cape Town City Ballet in previous years and still work closely with Robin Van Wyk and with a wonderful faculty of teachers and choreographers who share the vision of nurturing and developing the talent we have in South Africa.
Founder + Director, Cape Junior Ballet