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After 35 years in the industry, I continue to always strive to bring out the best in individuals, not only as artists but also as human beings."

Allison Hendricks
Executive Artistic Director,DFA

DFA was established in 1991 in the Gugulethu Township in Cape Town, South Africa.

We started with predominantly ballet training, but our services have grown to include African Fusion, Hip Hop, Flamenco, Tap and Contemporary Dance, as well as Creative Movement, Drama and Physical Theatre.

Over the past 33 years, we have brought the joy of dance and its multi-faceted benefits to thousands of children and youth. We use dance to develop self-esteem and discipline while motivating young people to set goals and to become responsible adults who can create and embrace opportunities. 


Our home base is the DFA Centre in Athlone, from where we serve the greater Cape Town and Rural region through our Outreach Programme, full time Bridging Programme and InSPIRAtions Youth Company. Training and dance classes are free of charge and participants range in age from five years old up to early career-stage young adults.

Our objective is to prepare students to become versatile dancers who have the technical skills, discipline, and grounding to enter a career in performing arts. DFA serves close to 1 400 children and youth annually.

DFA is a non-profit organisation (NPC)

that empowers disadvantaged children and youth through dance. Our programmes enhance life skills, support personal development, and offer career opportunities in performing arts. Our vision is to create a broad-based and sustainable development platform for South African children and youth through excellent dance instruction and life-changing opportunities in performing arts.

"...DFA is a haven where children are nurtured  and encouraged to realise that their challenges do not define them, that they can dare to dream of making a better life for themselves."

The Late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu (07.10.31 - 26.12.21)
Former Honorary Life Patron of DFA


DFA was established in 1991 by Philip Boyd who offered ballet training to 34 children in the Gugulethu Township. Initially called Ballet for All, DFA was built on the legacy of the late David Poole who was the Artistic Director of CAPAB Ballet. He initiated ballet instruction in Cape Town townships during the mid-1980’s, with the idea to introduce dance and ballet to all, especially youth and children from socio-economic backgrounds.

As the organisation grew, Boyd recruited more dance teachers and expanded the programme to include diverse dance styles, renaming the organisation to Dance for All in 1995. Prima Ballerina Assoluta Phyllis Spira joined DFA as Assistant Artistic Director on her retirement from the stage, a position she held until her passing in 2008. Phyllis Spira (18 October 1943 – 11 March 2008) was a South African ballet dancer who began her career with the Royal Ballet in England. Upon returning to South Africa, she spent twenty-eight years as prima ballerina of CAPAB Ballet, and in 1984 she was named the first (and currently only) South African Prima Ballerina Assoluta. She has been instrumental in building DFA into a highly regarded school of dance.

Today DFA trains close to 1 400 dancers per year and more than 60 DFA graduates are currently working professionally in the performing arts industry in South Africa and abroad.


"When I drove to Gugulethu to teach my first ballet lesson there in 1991, I had no idea if I'd be faced with an empty classroom. But there were students who were hungry to learn, and the numbers gradually increased. Their joy fed my excitement at being able to share the magic of dance."

Philip Boyd
Founder and Patron of DFA

Dance has multi-faceted therapeutic benefits

and is a powerful social change agent. The physical benefits of dance include cardiovascular health, balance and strength, cognitive performance, and improved brain function. Emotional benefits include the creation of joy, improvement of mood, enhanced body image and stress reduction.

Our purpose is to enable dance as an enjoyable and constructive extramural school activity that is open and free to all. It is in these safe spaces that children and youth not only learn various dance techniques; but to embrace life confidently and change the narrative of their lives.


Our vision is to create a broad-based and sustainable development platform for South African children and youth through excellent dance instruction and life-changing opportunities in performing arts.

DFA's social change objectives include the following:

  • Providing a structured extramural activity in the form of dance classes for children and youth in disadvantaged communities.
  • Offering high-quality dance instruction and holistic life skills training.
  • Building self-esteem, confidence, creativity, and self-discipline in children and youth.
  • Revealing and nurturing dance talent.
  • Promoting talent and creating career opportunities.
  • Training professional South African dancers and choreographers.
  • Growing the appreciation of dance in disadvantaged and rural communities.
  • Developing the InSPIRAtions Dance Company as a unique indigenous and innovative performing arts platform.


Section 21 Company – Reg No 2002/016119/08

Non-Profit Organisation registered with Department of Social Affairs  – NPO 036 431

Public Benefit Organisation registered with South African Revenue Services (18A status) – PBO 93 00 0 087

Compliance Documentation:

BEE Certificate - Click here
Tax Certificate - Click here
Due Diligence Documentation - Click here

Banking Details:

Nedbank, Ronderbosch Branch
Code 104809
Account Number 1048055205


Low and Schreiber, Mr Mike Schreiber


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