A hip hop dance choreographer from Port Elizabeth says his mother encouraging him to start his own crew helped him overcome his depression several years ago.

Junior Ferreira, a young choreographer from Port Elizabeth, believes passion and commitment can make you successful. He started a dance crew several years ago and they shortly thereafter began representing South Africa in international competitions.

Ferreira shares how his dance crew’s hard work paid off and led them to represent South Africa in international competitions.

Despite being the underdogs, Ferreira’s group – named PE’s Finest Dance Crew – worked hard, and it paid off. Since they entered the South African Hip Hop Dance Championships in 2013, they have been crowned South African representatives at the international hip hop showcase in America.

“Our crew was small. Nobody knew anything about us or what we were about. There were big crews in Port Elizabeth who were already making names and going places.”

In 2013, PE’s Finest got a bronze medal in the national competition. And in 2014 they received gold, which gave them an opportunity to compete in the World Hip Hop Dance Championships, with dancers from more than 50 countries, in Las Vegas.

In 2015, they won silver at the national championships and they took off to America to compete in the international competition, this time in San Diego. Ferreira says they used the opportunity to tour around southern California and took part in workshops. This gave them an opportunity to teach foreign participants about South African local dance styles – the kwaito and sbujwa.

Giving up is no option

“Never give up, legend,” were the words from his mother, Marian, that drove Junior Ferreira to take up dancing again. In 2009, the talented 20-year- old had failed to make the cut at a local dance academy. Which is why he felt he was ready to give up his dream of becoming a professional dancer.

“I had just left a dance academy and decided to stop dancing. Because I never made it to be a senior crew member of that academy,” Ferreira says.

“My mother – who is now my manager – encouraged me to start my own dance crew because I was going through some depression issues. So she called a few of my friends and told us to start our own crew. She even said she would pay for our clothes and the rest of our financial expenses.

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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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