Dare2Dream (D2D) is our flagship vocational programme. It provides youth with access to an alternative option to mainstream, often inaccessible, educational opportunities.
The overall objective of the D2D programme is to aid in the alleviation of poverty and contribute to the reduction of unemployment in our country. By using circus arts as a practical medium, participants learn soft skills, social skills, technical skills, artistic development, circus techniques, and teaching skills. With the guidance and support of dedicated Zip Zap instructors, D2D students create and manage their own performances, and work as a team in collaborating to create shows for corporates, public performances and special events. All these skills help prepare the D2D students to teach and coach the younger children, which is an integral part of the curriculum. A ‘professional insertion’ year, as the final year of the programme, aids in bridging the gap between learning and working, provides holistic development, and guides them in becoming both work- and life-ready.
During the 2022 programme year, the Dare2Dream (D2D) programme hosted 15 participants. The programme delivered a total of 1 508 hours across 4 modules: Circus and Performing (1 211 hours), Technical (103 hours), Teaching (104 hours) and Self-development (90 hours). An attendance rate of 97% provided evidence of the students’ ambition and dedication in pursuing their goals through the programme. 5 participants from other Zip Zap programmes successfully applied to the D2D programme commencing in 2022. Physical assessments conducted 3 times across the programme year, helped instructors to assess the fitness levels, progress and capabilities of the participants to ensure minimum standards were met, with 87% of students displaying improvements in physical aspect of the programme. These assessments also informed effective programme content to ensure that overall programme objectives were met. This was complemented by improvements in artistic assessments for 79 % of students, conducted twice during the programme year. Overall discipline and self-discipline (which includes time management, accountability, responsibility, conflict resolution) is an important aspect of the programme, and 86% of students displayed improvement in this regard. Pro-social behaviours, which contributed to a sense of belonging for the students (which includes teamwork, acceptance, helping, sharing, communication) was also very visible within the cohort.
The D2D students displayed remarkable dedication, resilience and determination: when the head coach exited the programme unexpectedly in July 2022, the students showed initiative and took the lead in self-directed learning and peer training.
Some students were exposed to learnings from international circus performers and teachers. One student represented Zip Zap at the “Circus Overseas” project hosted in Palermo, Italy which focused on pedagogy and teaching within the social circus context. Another student attended masterclasses with international handstand artist and contortionist, Anastasiia Mazur. Regrettably, this was interrupted with the onset of the Ukraine/Russia conflict, and it was agreed to pursue this in 2023.
More performing opportunities were possible in 2022. Students were included in shows and performances at the V&A Waterfront in January; the stage production, MOYA, in February; a school show in April; Suidoosterfees arts festival in April/May; 2 show runs of the show, Slapstick, in May and August; Grahamstown National Arts Festival in June, and MOYA Live at Montecasino in August. A particular highlight was the selection of 6 students who joined the performing troupe in the production, Rhapsody, performed at the Artscape Opera House in November. This show also toured France and Switzerland from November 2022 to February 2023, to much acclaim!
Technical Training Hours
Hours spent Teaching
Hours spent on Self-Development
A Shining Star
Our Beautiful Shell
Our Beautiful Shell is our on-site residence, a shared and safe accommodation space for Zip Zap students who faced challenges commuting to attend training.
The residence has also provided accommodation to international interns and guest teachers from abroad throughout the review period. This project enables exposure to different cultures, learning to live harmoniously with others, as well as to prepare youths for independent living. With the continued and unwavering support of our sponsors, the residents benefit from the relative comfort, safety and security, and convenience associated with being accommodated at the on-site residence.
Residents share living space with people from varied socio-economic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. Responsibilities are shared and residents are held accountable to each other to ensure a safe, clean, and harmonious existence. Developing good inter-personal and social skills, and fostering good self-discipline, are critical to successful cohabitation and maintaining mature relationships. Open, honest channels of communication, consideration for others and managing conflict are also vital to ensuring social cohesion within the residence. Good self-management and understanding the demands of independent living enables residents to set achievable goals and improve decision-making.
International interns & guest teachers
A Shining Star
Lukhanyo lives in the Cape Flats and faced harsh daily living conditions such as taxi violence, gangsterism, huge levels of unemployment and poverty. Because his immediate family environment was not conducive to his maintaining the level of focus and discipline required by the D2D programme, he successfully applied to live in
the residence. This experience has taught him valuable coping skills and constructive relationship building, which helped him to rebuild relationships within his family with whom he is now reconnected. It also gave him good insights into what is required to sustain a household independently.
Our Beautiful Shell is a happy meeting place, a home-away-from-home fostering lifelong friendships.