Dance is an essential part of our everyday lives; it is a form of communication and jubilant expression.

It transcends all social and cultural boundaries, and allows freedom of movement and spirit.

Dance has struggled and toiled through years of sadness and great happiness and still survives today, against the odds of artistic temperament and an ever-changing social climate.

PRO ARTE ALPHEN PARK’S Dance Department is part of a very special and important school, which offers talented students the opportunity to grow and explore their creativity as dancers as well as personally.

The present Dance Faculty has evolved from a past that gives it a strong foundation to build on. The young, vibrant and enthusiastic staff has the required passion for dance, and being experts in their respective fields, the necessary skills to take the department proudly forward into the future.

The Dance Department offers: Ballet, Spanish and Jazz dance as part of the curriculum and include the theoretical subjects: Anatomy and Health care, Music & Dance History.

This is a unique environment that not only nurtures the students’ individual talents, but also offers the theoretical background that allows him/her to pursue diverse career paths within the dynamic world of dance.

The talented teaching team comprises of:

Nigel Hannah (Ballet and theory), Sue Kirkland (Ballet), Cecil de Jongh (Jazz Dance), José Montoya (Spanish Dance), Maria Lorca Montoya (Spanish Dance), Cillié Burger (Music theory) & Sarah Engelbrecht: Anatomy (Grade 8-12), and

Ferdi Geyer accompanies all the ballet classes.

This dedicated team shares a strong bond of friendship, mutual respect and passion for their jobs that stimulate the learners to achieve their full potential.

The Dance Department at Pro Arte Alphen Park has grown from where it was, to where it is now, because of the new government in South Africa. A full transition, with a new system, has been put into place. With the new curriculum there is no HG (higher grade) or SG (standard grade), but simply pass or fail. The Dance Department is very positive about this new curriculum and offer Ballet, Jazz and Spanish dance from grade 8 – 12. In Grade 12, learners choose one practical dance genre, for their final practical exam, whereas in the past they were forced to do all three dance forms for their final practical exam.

Nigel Hannah, the head of the Dance Department, insists on Ballet being the thrust of the Dance Department. Ballet offers technical ability, teaches discipline and is the basis of all other dance forms offered. Jazz, however, is more popular in South Africa than the other dance forms, but Mr. Hannah is adamant that all three dance forms should run concurrently with each other.

When learners enroll in grade 8, those learners who have not done ballet before, are required to do two extra ballet classes a week. Extra ballet classes are available in the afternoons because the curriculum only allows for a certain amount of time for dancing in the mornings. Extra Jazz and Spanish classes are available during certain evenings. Learners are encouraged to do extra dance classes as dance is a practical art form and there is only one way to improve and that’s practice, practice, practice!!!

Pro Arte Alphen Park dancers are exposed to all aspects of dance from the moment they enter the dance department in Grade 8. This includes the department’s annual prestigious dance production at the State Theatre as well as various other productions.

Show-work is done in the evenings over and above what they do during regular school time.

Pro Arte Alphen Park dancers are exposed to all aspects of dance from the moment they enter the dance department in Grade 8. This includes the department’s annual prestigious dance production at the State Theatre as well as various other productions.

Goals of Pro Arte Alphen Park’s Dance Department

To raise all-round dancers and artists with different dimensions to their lives which dance has given them.
Apart from dancing, dancers will also be able to do any of the following when they leave school after Grade 12:

  • Use their writing skills, as learners also learn to write articles and reviews.
  • Become physiotherapists with their anatomy background.
  • Become clothes and costume designers.
  • Learn commitment, as with the shows, they can not come and go as they please.
  • Learn time-management.

The Process of the Auditions:


Dance Audition:

  • Grade 8s – 11: Consists of a ballet class assessment to ascertain dance ability and aptitude for dance.
  • Grade 10: Learners must have passed an Intermediate Foundation ballet exam or equivalent dance exam.
  • Grade 11: By appointment only. Learners will only be accepted under exceptional circumstances.
  • Clothing requirements: Leotard or tight-fitting full piece swimming costume, tights or jazz pants and a soft pair of ballet or jazz shoes (no takkies)

During the audition class prospective learners will be assessed on:

  • The potential ability of the body to cope with the rigorous demands of dance.
  • The mobility of ankle and hip joints.
  • The skeletal structure of the spine and legs.
  • Overall muscular strength.

Dance Department yearbook article 2011

“A BANG!” is an understatement for how this year has started! We leapt into rehearsals for our annual production, “Absolute Dance 2011” from day one! Being a part of this amazing department really makes you experience so many things! From working with breath taking costumes in grade 8 to dancing in the show itself and seeing the sparkle of excitement in the eyes of our new grade 8’s, makes me think of how much we’ve all grown.

Not only did we start with rehearsals, but also cleaned out our extensive wardrobe. This took 3 days to achieve. It was a lot of hard work, from stripping the costume boxes of all the labeling, to sorting out the millions of leotards and skirts. Each grade had their turn to help and once it was done, it was amazing how much more room there is in the wardrobe itself. “ABSOLUTE DANCE” is our annual production that is staged at The State Theatre of Pretoria. With a combination of Ballet, Jazz and Spanish we put on a show filled with excitement, emotion and A LOT of memories! The ballet consisted of Coppélia Act 2, which was taught to us by our excellent head of department, Mr Nigel Hannah and his right-hand lady, Miss Sue Kirkland. As a result, we were able to successfully stage the incredibly funny Coppélia Act 2!

“UNDERSTANDING ME: A JOURNEY,” is the name of our spectacular jazz piece! Mr Cecil de Jongh and his wife, Helen, worked very hard with us to portray their vision on stage and we all feel it was a great success! “LOS RITMOS DE ESPANA” is the Spanish and also the grand finale of the show and what a way to end a show it was!! With the help of Maria Lorca Montoya, José Montoya and Sarah Engelbrecht we staged the finale of finales! The show was absolutely spectacular and it wouldn’t have been a success without the amazing mentors we call teachers.

In April, the grade 12s arranged a sleepover at the department as a bonding exercise and we had a lot of fun. We watched DVDs and played games. Great fun! We eventually got some sleep as well. Along with all of that, we are keeping the academic side of things up there with the best of them, as we are currently preparing for the final exams which will be with us in the blink of an eye!

To everyone who has helped shape us into who we are today, I would like to say “thank you” from the depth of my heart! Without people like you, we, as dancers, wouldn’t have been what we are today and what we will be in the future! We are looking forward to the challenges 2012 has in store for us!!

Angelique Allison P.S. “live like there’s no tomorrow, sing like no one is listening and DANCE like no one is watching!”


  • “All that is important is this one moment in movement. Make the moment important, vital, and worth living. Do not let it slip away unnoticed and unused.” MARTHA GRAHAM (1893 – 1992)

Nigel Hannah

Read More
Experience & Qualifications


  • Dance Department
  • 012 460 6221 or 082 683 5088