ZIP ZAP – a uniquely South African social and professional circus family. Come and dream with us…
Zip Zap was born 30 years ago from a simple dream, a trapeze bar in a tree, a costume box and a rusty car. Today Zip Zap is registered as a Public Benefit Organisation welcoming 2500 children each year through 10 different programmes.
As the Zip Zap story was founded on an initial love story between the two co-founders, so it continues to unfold as one. The love can be felt in every corner of this extraordinary social circus. It is felt on stage, on the training floor, throughout ten programmes and between every beneficiary, alumni, staff, international intern, board member and show audiences. Once you join the Zip Zap family, you are embraced by a sense of belonging, that lasts a lifetime.
Volunteers play an essential part in Zip Zap. Not only do they bring an array of skills, they also share the workload and often bring new ideas. Thank you for considering coming to share your skills, time and knowledge with us! We welcome volunteers from all over the world for not less than 3 months with an opportunity to extend for another 3 months.
Zip Zap offers the following:
- Accommodation in Zip Zap shared onsite residence
- Laundry facilities
- Transport between the 2 Zip Zap venues (Dome & Academy)
- Access to the facilities to train during free time
- Letter of reference
The training programmes are from Monday to Saturday and volunteers participate fully in Zip Zap’s diverse activities including but not limited to assisting coaches in the various programmes, production for events & shows (planning, to-do lists, team building), and infrastructure (cleaning, setting up of venue). There are opportunities to lead training sessions with our vocational training group for high-level circus specialists and the creation of acts for Zip Zap shows.
This is a fantastic opportunity for cultural exchange within the social circus and performing arts environment. A weekly schedule is prepared according to the skills of the volunteer and the need of Zip Zap.
The volunteer will work between 32-38 hours per week.
Zip Zap is eternally grateful to all our volunteers
Renowned for her dance and choreography skills, South African dynamo, Adele Blank, has trained, performed and taught nationally and internationally. Having trained in the Cecchetti method of classical dance, Adele performed with the Johannesburg City Ballet Company before diving into contemporary dance with then mentor and teacher, Sheila Wartski.
Adele spent time in the USA, UK, Europe and Israel to study the various forms of contemporary dance, after which she was elected Director of Dance and Choreography at the Performing Arts Workshop in 1984. In 1987, Adele established the Free Flight Dance Company, which she directs to this day.
Adele has been training Zip Zap students in dance and has choreographed various pieces and shows for the organisation since her move to Cape Town in 2002. In 2018, her passion, expertise and mentorship helped Zip Zap to bring a breath-taking performance to the Artscape stage.
Katherine discovered Zip Zap in the early 2000’s and was immediately captivated by the ability of circus magic to catalyse pride and joy in children living in difficult social circumstances. It was an epiphany to discover that circus can be an agent of change and transformation.
For the last 20 years she has been working with MSF and UCT/CIDER in monitoring and evaluation of HIV and TB services in South Africa and in the African region. Her work in health services in resource poor areas has highlighted the importance of giving dreams to children and youth – Zip Zap has offered dreams to many children in dire circumstances.
“The little contribution I am trying to make, is an attempt to open horizons for youth who have not benefited from stable environments, or care, and education.
This has been done through reading sessions, films and attempts will keep being made for discussions and debates. There is a need for youth attending the D2D course to have skills other than those directly relating to the circus for them to be able to find jobs once they have graduated.”
Althea crossed paths with Brent and Laurence in 2001 when her eldest son and their daughter, Saskia, started at the same play school.
They discovered that they were practically neighbours, and a beautiful friendship grew from there.
Althea has danced for most of her life. ‘Dancing is in my blood. It feeds my soul.’ She qualified as a BalletRIP instructor in 2017 and taught her first class in 2018. Sabine (Brent and Laurence’s daughter) attended a few of her classes and asked if she would teach a class to the Dare2Dream students. Without hesitation she agreed and has never looked back. Once a month, she teaches a BalletRIP class to the D2D students. They get stuck into a fun-filled BR class, working on strengthening the core and toning or bodies.
She loves the interaction with the students as they come alive with the music. ‘The performers come out in each of them.’ These young people walk into class with a sense of the unexpected, but after the first song, they are reminded to smile and enjoy the basic movements of ballet which some of them have never been exposed to.
‘Movement of the body is such a basic thing. We can all dance , sometimes we just need the push.’
Althea feels privileged to be involved with Zip Zap.