When Philip Boyd, a former principal dancer with CAPAB (now Cape Town City Ballet), started township ballet classes in 1991, he had a group of 34 students that he taught in a classroom in Gugulethu.
He called this enterprise Ballet for All. Boyd was building on the legacy of CAPAB director David Poole, who started teaching ballet in the townships of Cape Town during the mid-1980s. As Ballet for All grew, Boyd recruited more dance teachers and expanded the programme to include diverse dance styles, renaming the organisation Dance for All in 1995.
Right from the start, renowned Prima Ballerina Assoluta Phyllis Spira (OMSG) was involved. On her retirement from the stage, she joined DFA as Assistant Artistic Director and, until her death in 2008, helped to build the organisation into the highly regarded school of dance it is today. A powerful testimony to this is that at least ±50 ‘graduates’ of the DFA programme are working professionally in the performing arts industry and other professions in South Africa and abroad.