PVE National and Folk Dances

This year's PVE National Dances took place in the School Hall at Amstelhof Primary on Tuesday the 2nd and Wednesday the 3rd of August 2011. 

Click programme below for larger image.


The National Dances staged by the PVE is one of the events that draw hundreds of visitors. On Day one already, the hall quickly filled to capacity and even standing room in the back rows were taken up by onlookers.

Cool but clear evenings ensured that many family members came to watch and appreciate the dances that were of very high quality. Denise Meyer, the PVE convener that organised the National Dance Performances on behalf of the Paarl Valley Eisteddfod, was again completely overwhelmed by the huge number of visitors who attended this year's event while the PVE chair person, Gail Jacobs, who visited the event on both evenings marked the event as "a wonderful two evenings of National Dance performed by learners with much poise and grandeur!"

The growing number of visitors to this well-attended event has prompted PVE management to look into implementation of changes to ensure that all visitors in future can continue to enjoy a wonderful display of folk dance techniques from all over the world by local learners.

National dances have become deeply embedded into the cultural expression of many schools in the Paarl Valley and the Western Cape as a whole. The Western Cape Movement Education Association, established and led by the well known Dance Programme Director, Miss Doreen Solomons, and her team of well trained instructors and adjudicators, has done a great deal to ensure that Paarl schools have access to locally developed and tailored the dances that still permeates the essence of its origins.

Paarl Valley Eisteddfod acknowledge and appreciates the work of the association that has choreographed all of the dances that were staged so that the staff, learners and families of the schools of the Western Cape can enjoy outstanding Eisteddfod evenings.

By reading the scripts of the various dances below, it become very easy to understand why the display of these dances are drawing, and will continue to draw capacity crowds who come to experience and be taken back to the glory days of former times, when these timeless dances were part of the slower pace of life:

Grade R

Happy Times

Ladies and gentlemen, we introduce you to the youngest dancers tonight. This is their first experience on a stage tonight and might be disorientated in space. This dance in this phase was choreographed by Ms Lorraine Swanepoel – one of the adjudicators.

Let us put our hands together as we appreciate their dancing skills, their efforts and their first experience on stage. Let us all enjoy our children in the apt title of this dance: “Happy Times”.

Junior Maypole

The Maypole dance is one of the oldest dances from the 14th century.  On the 1st of May the people in the European countries enjoy the start to spring... This is the onset of the summer season in a very cold region of the globe. Centuries ago people used to dance around the maple tree, holding onto the branches. This tradition was carried over from one generation to the next. This dance is still performed around maypoles holding onto ribbons which represent the leaves of a tree.

This dance was choreographed by Ms Lorraine Swanepoel.  Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the Maypole dance.

Grade 1

Square Dance

We remember fondly the square dance and how we used to enjoy dancing all the different steps and figures. Here we are going to experience how the Grade 1 learners perform this square dance.

 Drum Roll

We know that children and especially boys love to mimic the movements of soldiers.  In this dance you will be able to hear the drum roll and the learners performing different movements to this strong beat. Ladies and gentlemen we present to you – Drum Roll. 

 Grade 2

 The Ribbon Dance

A few years ago this dance was choreographed for the Grade 3 group.  This time around we are challenging the Grade 2 learners to perform this dance by using ribbons. This dance requires specific skills to weave with ribbons and requires much concentration and skill. Let us enjoy these dancers performing the Ribbon dance.

Jolly Copper Smith

In England a policeman is referred to as a “copper”– we all know this refers to the work they do as: dangerous, focused and should have a safety element. This must have been a very happy, fun-loving policeman – hence the name of this dance: Jolly Copper Smith.  Let’s enjoy watching this happy copper smith.

Grade 3

The Doll House

How many of us remember playing in doll houses with a variety of dolls and teddy bears and other toys. In this dance you will notice that the dancers will make arches in different directions.  These arches depict the roofs of a Doll house.  Hence the title of this dance, “The Doll House”.

Nakkie Die Nar

After years of adjudicating sangspele in the Wellington and Paarl areas, the adjudicators embarked upon and researched this form of dance and included it in their syllabi. This year one of our adjudicators – Lorraine Swanepoel choreographed this dance so that all learners are introduced to this form of dancing – first introduced at some of the schools where learners could learn to sing and dance – thus introducing a new form of Physical Education. Let’s put our hands together as we enjoy this group of dancers enjoying this dance -Nakkie Die Nar.


Grades 4 & 5

Maids of Scotland

This dance has a distinctive Scottish style and steps. It is performed in groups of 3 and requires several Scottish dance qualities and formations – let us put our hands together as we enjoy the Maids of Scotland.

A Sicilian Circle

The title of this dance refers to the formation of this dance and it hails from England.  Let us observe the difference in formation – still in a circle - of this dance. Enjoy this dance with the groups.

Solo dance

On a Greek Island

The Greek dance style has a lovely lilting quality. This solo dancer has a vase with oil and mimics how she pours olive oil which has a few medicinal uses. This dance was choreographed by Debby Kaye and is for the Grades 4 and 5 learners.

Grades 6 & 7

Mollerens Firtur

This dance hails from Denmark and the intricate dance formation is characteristic of these dances. The formation is a square danced by 4 couples, each opposite side couples repeat the formations done by a former couple.

This is one of the Grade dances of ISTD – Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing in London who eagerly gave us permission to use these dances.



During the year 2001, Ms Doreen Solomons invited a lecturer from Finland to host a workshop (on Finnish dances) here in South Africa. This dance was choreographed and taught to us by Rita Asanti a lecturer at a University in Finland.  Notice the smooth running dance style of the Jenkka step. The name of this dance: Jenkka.

Watch the Jenkka performed by learners from Magnolia Primary at the PVE Eisteddfod on Aug 3 2011 HERE on Youtube

Solo Dances

The Garland

This dance was choreographed by Daphne September. The storyline:  In summer herdsman lead cows up the mountain pastures for grazing.  The procession is lead by a “queen” cow, which has a garland and bell round its neck.  The dancer shows the garland ready for the crowning ceremony.

Mexican Duet Dance

Mexican dances are always bright, spirited and lively. This is the first time we have a duet dance choreographed by Lorraine Swanepoel. The dancers perform several Mexican dance steps. The sombreros are typical headgear for Mexican as it gets very hot in Mexico. These two dancers do some intricate footwork and perform the different steps according to the quick tempo of the dance


Grades 8 & 9

Russian Lyrical

This is a very smooth and strong dance portraying the dance steps of the Russian style.

The dancers should portray this skimming quality which is characteristic of the Russian dance style.

The coconut dance

The music of this dance hails from Venezuela where huge, massive coconut trees are plentiful and people who harvest these coconuts perform a work of art.

When you ask the people from Venezuela what their quality and dance style is they will answer: ‘We grow up with music, we have rhythm in our blood and dancing is part of most social activities” This dance has a rhythmic, syncopated quality and requires a lot of rhythmic execution. Let us put our hands together for “the coconut dance”.


Solo dance

Dance from Northern Spain

This solo dance has been performed by many Grade 8 and 9 learners. This story is about a dancer in the streets of Spain during a festival while a procession moves through the streets – just as we would have with a fete. She collects money or a “petos” as it is referred to. While she is dancing she sees a coin and picks it up, shows it to everybody and dances a while. While dancing she sees the procession moving through the streets, waves at them and then runs to meet up with them.\

Let us watch this dancer performing this dance.


Grades 10, 11 & 12

Lady Auckland’s Reel

The Scottish dance style is both vibrant with a lot of elaboration and intricate footwork, or it is slow, but should portray excellent footwork. Here the senior learners perform a dance referred to as Lady Auckland’s reel.

The Victory Dance

Learners in Grades 10- 12 have a victory to celebrate – they are in their last phase of schooling, of having passed several grades, having worked hard and excelled in their development in learning different skills and gaining knowledge.

The name of this dance focuses on self-development self – achievement, thus - the victory of having achieved much – here to perform the dance choreographed by Lisle Lombard, are the senior learners performing the Victory Dance.


Solo Dance

Czechoslovakian Ribbon Dance

This dance hails from Czechoslovakia. This dance was choreographed by Helen Wingrave one of the examiners. She was one of the examiners who came to South Africa to examine grade dances.

Let us enjoy the senior learners performing this dance.