Tanya Edwards-Smith: “Dance now, fix as we go along!”
Rhythm Image Dance Studio was started in 2001 under the Mark Dooley Solo Danca Latin Association. Initially they taught Cha Cha, Samba, Paso Doble and Jive with no partner required. Logical, really, as so few men like to twirl on the dancefloor. But since then the association has extended to over 26 styles of dance in both Couples and Solo curriculums. Rhythm Image aims to train the dancers in all styles so if their students want to be a professional stage dancer or to enter So You Think You Can Dance, they’ll be equipped to dance every style thrown at them.
There are four teachers in the studio. Tanya Edwards-Smith is the blonde, sinuous dancer undulating and rippling her body in seemingly impossible directions you’ll often see at events in White River. A former SA team coach and previous MPU PRO Champion, she has 36 years of dance experience and 22 years of teaching experience.
Maroula Kroucamp has 15 years of dance experience and represented South Africa in Russia in the Latin & Ballroom dance categories.
Kelly da Silva is a multiple South African Champion from the age 10 to PRO in Solo Latin, Energy & Classic with 13 years of dance experience.
Maryssa Erasmus has studied drama and taught in Thailand. She is a Championship dancer with 8 years of dance experience.
Rhythm Image Dance Studio has grown from strength to strength and have won South African Team Championships and trained South African Solo dancers. They say their winning formulation is FUN, believing that a dancer will always excel if they are having fun.
Currently Rhythm Image has studios in Nelspruit, White River (Casterbridge, Uplands Prep & College) and Hazyview and cover all 26 styles of dance at each studio. The most popular styles are the solo styles such as Energy, Bhangra, Slow Style, Hip Hop, Cha Cha, Samba, Paso Doble, Jive, Contemporary, Jazz, Ballet and Spanish.
Dancers in their studio can choose to compete locally and nationally and by competing are able to qualify for the South African Championships. All their dancers take part in a show annually as well as taking annual exams.
Tanya says their teaching protocol is relaxed, although when the dancers arrive at class they start an active warm up dance followed by their dance routines so don’t confuse relaxed with indolence! The instructors teach quickly which may disconcert newbies for the first two or three classes but after that, the dancers sky rocket, becoming fabulous visual learners which is vital in the professional dance world.
Rhythm Image accepts students from from age 6 to adult. Fees for 2017 are R395pm and there is an annual registration fee of R300 to register with head office for exams and competitions.