Tina James Diva-in-Charge | Dance Instructor & Master Trainer more…
Claudia Risch Admin Manager | Social Media
Wendy-Leigh van der Walt
East Rand –Alberton & Edenvale
East Rand – Boksburg
Tina James, the founder of Dancing Divas, started ballet at age 5 (and hated it!), followed by years of tap dancing until she dropped all dancing in her early teens. She only really discovered the Diva in her at a very ripe old age. Having always wanted to do Spanish dancing, she joined Helena Montoya’s beginners’ class at the tender age of 38, at a time when most of the other students were children. “It was a daunting experience, but I so badly wanted to learn that I put on a brave face and joined the little kids. Even my mother came to watch my first trial exam class with the other moms!” After eleven years of Spanish dancing and at 49, she moved onto Ballroom and Latin American dancing with Johan Hayes. This was supposed to be the quiet and gentle activity to nudge her into ‘physical’ retirement, so what a surprise to discover how demanding and life-changing it would turn out to be. Add Riaan, a gym instructor who added his flavour by insisting on ‘attitude’ and who believed in her idea enough to let her choreograph a routine for his gym class; Maroula, a sassy young champ who had infinite patience in putting some hip into Tina’s very stiff and plank-like body; throw in a few dancing titles in ballroom and Latin American, and the groundwork was laid for her to pay it forward.
Tina noticed that there are few opportunities for mature women to pursue their often unrealized childhood dreams of dancing. Too shy to join a dance or gym class, women have nowhere to go where they can dance by themselves and with women closer to their own age and level of fitness. After years of hearing comments such as “ You are different to the rest of us, we cannot do that”, “I am too old to start dancing now”, “I have two left feet”, “I am too fat and embarrassed about my body”, “I don’t have anyone to dance with me”, she decided something had to be done about it. Having struggled with many of these feelings herself, and almost giving up her dancing in 2007 because she felt that she was too old and large to be dancing in ‘sequins and slits’, a dream started emerging to create a dancing space for women like herself, a space where women could find themselves, and have some fun, through dance. And that’s how Dancing Divas was born!
Tina drives the business, absolutely loves training new instructors and also teaches Divas Dance classes to keep her humble and inspired by what women are achieving through joining Dancing Divas.
mobile: +27 (0) 82 460 7915 | email: tina [at] dancingdivas.co.za