A Mitchells Plain teen is gearing up to represent South Africa at an international dance competition in Denmark in October.
Gabrielle Jacobs, 14, from Portlands, qualified for the International Dance Organisation competition after auditioning online earlier this year.
The Grade 9 Mondale High School pupil has belonged to the Youth Development Academy since the age of nine.
Her mom Nicolette Smith-Jacobs, 40, says the talented young dancer has ambitions of becoming a choreographer and owning a dance school like her coach Kim Cassels.
“She has been with the academy since age nine, she always places in the top three and has been consistent in achieving her goals this far,” says Nicolette.
Kim Cassels is the owner of YDA in Portlands, and Gabrielle looks up to her as a role model and mentor.
Next month’s competition is hosted by SABOD (South African Body of Dance) and IDO (International Dance Organisation) and will see Gabrielle compete in the solo hip-hop division.
The excited teen tells the Daily Voice: “I’m stoked that I qualified for this competition. It’s a dream come true. It was always my desire to reach Protea colours for dance.”
Gabrielle counts pop stars Chris Brown and the late Michael Jackson as her inspiration.
“I’m excited for this opportunity. I wish to meet my idol, Chris Brown. I look up to him as a dancer and would love to dance in one of his music videos. I also love Michael Jackson.”
Nicolette says they’ve been working hard to raise funds for the trip.
She believes young people need achievable goals to keep them focused.
“It’s rewarding and fulfilling to see my daughter reaching her dreams. I’m happy to be there to see her accomplish her goals.
“This is proof that the values and morals instilled are showing its fruits.
“We are happy that she achieved her goal. It didn’t come easy.
“The planning and preparation going into it is a lot, we hope it pays off. But she wants to go represent her country,” says the proud mom.