Phillipa McCann


I started dancing when I was about six years old at Beverley and Kerry Hall’s Dance Studio at Thomas More. I still remember my first concert as if it were yesterday. We were bees, the most excited and boastful bees ever known. I remember changing into my yellow and black tutu; I was such a proud bee, walking back and forth in front of my peers showing off my beautiful costume. It still hangs up in my cupboard today like a trophy on display. I moved to Karen Drake’s Dance Studio when I was about eight. I started modern, tap and hip-hop at Karen’s studio too. Karen and Di Drake will always have a special place in my heart. Miss Gaynor Harris taught me ballet for about two years at Karen’s studio. She has helped shape me into the dancer I am today; even if that meant putting a sticky sweet between my fingers just to make sure my thumbs didn’t stick out.

Now, aged 14, I am doing classical ballet at Patricia McIntosh’s Dance Studio, modern and tap at Karen Drake’s Dance Studio and ballet and Contemporary at KZN Dance Academy. I have just finished my second year of Youth Ballet with Dudley von Loggenberg. I am now doing Advanced 1 and taking every opportunity I can to dance. From only dancing one day a week when I was little, I have now progressed to dancing six days a week. Since I joined KZN Dance Academy last year, my passion for dance has grown even more. It is a place where we put syllabus work aside and focus more on performance, technique and our love of dance. We are like a family at the Academy. We all have a passion for dance and push each other to become the best dancers we can be.

I need to say a huge thank you to my mom who has been my taxi, my manager and my personal slave. She has always been there for me, whether it’s driving me to dancing or sewing the ribbons on my pointe shoes or even putting last minute sequins on a costume and for that I am eternally grateful.

In the future I would really love to join the Cape Town City Ballet for a couple of years and then try and audition for a ballet company overseas. Dancing, now and forever, will be a huge part of my life. If my dance career doesn’t go to plan I would really love to open my own dance studio. It would be so rewarding to see my own students grow into beautiful dancers. Dancing is my past, present, and my future and as Dr Wayne W Dyer once said, “When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It is to enjoy each step along the way.”