DIVINE HALO: Ballet dancer and teacher Ella ‘Mamitah-Ella’ Kamati alongside her students. Photo contributed
DIVINE HALO: Ballet dancer and teacher Ella ‘Mamitah-Ella’ Kamati alongside her students. Photo contributed

Igniting a passion for ballet in northern Namibia

‘Ballet is more than dance’
Ballet teacher Ella Kamati, who founded the Divine Halo Ballet studio, is determined to grow and spread appreciation for this style of dance across Namibia.
Nikanor Nangolo
Ballet dancer and teacher Ella Kamati, affectionately known as Mamitah-Ella, says growing up in the vibrant coastal community of Walvis Bay, ignited a lifelong passion for dancing and artistic expression.

Kamati told Namibian Sun on Sunday that, since the age of four, she has found solace and creativity through various forms of artistic endeavours, including various styles of dancing.

“Ballet has always had the power to bring out a part of truth in me, so when I needed to be whole, I danced," she said.

“I must have been five, six, when dance really became a language for me. When I turned 11, I did more than just ballet; I did hip-hop and ballroom to keep my soul alive as I was battling a lot of trauma. Ballet for me is the sanity of mind, it's the fuel of my soul and the joy of my heart, and it’s more than dance,” she added.

Beloved teacher

These days, Kamati teaches about 18 pupils in Outapi, Ongwediva, Ondangwa and Rundu, who according to her, are “seeking to grow”.

"After Covid-19, a few parents started asking if I could offer one-on-one lessons. I took on the challenge, and eventually we grew and formed Divine Halo Ballet, a dance studio. I got to see how amazing it is to not only pass on ballet skills but to teach life, emotional intelligence and the joy of the soul. As the parents started to see and appreciate the great development in their little ones, I became more encouraged,” she said.

“We also have five individuals from our love programme who cannot afford ballet lessons but are so good, so they are funded by different individuals in the community,” Kamati added.

Spreading a love of ballet

She noted that, despite her passion for ballet, there’s still a lot of room for improvement in the industry.

“There's certainly still room for improvement. The fact that ballet isn't something that was available to the majority and there's so many things that still need to be worked on fundamentally. My Canadian ballet professor, Michelle Brawley, once said it's different doing ballet in Africa, it's about making it your own and still keeping the classical technique,” Kamati said.

“So finding that balance and wholeness is the mission I'm on in terms of helping African ballet dancers connect and make the art their own. My plan is to, firstly, grow in numbers in the northern regions. We would love to grow into a bigger dance family and simultaneously get more ballet equipment. Getting support from companies to develop these projects is crucial right now. We would also like to be able to stage ballet recitals with other countries, including African countries like Nigeria and Ghana, that are currently thriving in the industry,” she explained.

Kamati added that ballet is more than a sophisticated art and complex sport.

“It is the living of soul. A language any human understands before speaking is movement – developing it would only enhance the quality of that human life,” she emphasised.

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Namibian Sun 2024-07-17

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Currie Cup: NovaVit Griffons 10 vs 52 Vodacom Bulls Rugby World Cup U20: New Zealand U20 31 vs 55 France U20 | Australia U20 36 vs 29 Wales U20 | England U20 31 vs 20 Ireland U20 | Georgia U20 40 vs 36 Fiji U20 | Argentina U20 34 vs 24 South Africa U20 | Italy U20 28 vs 15 Spain U20 Katima Mulilo: 12° | 32° Rundu: 12° | 33° Eenhana: 11° | 33° Oshakati: 11° | 31° Ruacana: 14° | 31° Tsumeb: 15° | 29° Otjiwarongo: 9° | 28° Omaruru: 9° | 27° Windhoek: 8° | 23° Gobabis: 10° | 28° Henties Bay: 11° | 17° Wind speed: 18km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 06:18, High tide: 12:50, Low Tide: 18:28, High tide: 00:54 Swakopmund: 13° | 15° Wind speed: 23km/h, Wind direction: SW, Low tide: 06:16, High tide: 12:48, Low Tide: 18:26, High tide: 00:52 Walvis Bay: 11° | 20° Wind speed: 28km/h, Wind direction: SW, Low tide: 06:16, High tide: 12:47, Low Tide: 18:26, High tide: 00:51 Rehoboth: 9° | 25° Mariental: 9° | 26° Keetmanshoop: 9° | 23° Aranos: 9° | 27° Lüderitz: 10° | 18° Ariamsvlei: 9° | 21° Oranjemund: 10° | 18° Luanda: 20° | 22° Gaborone: 11° | 28° Lubumbashi: 12° | 29° Mbabane: 12° | 28° Maseru: 5° | 21° Antananarivo: 8° | 24° Lilongwe: 15° | 27° Maputo: 16° | 32° Windhoek: 8° | 23° Cape Town: 11° | 14° Durban: 14° | 27° Johannesburg: 12° | 22° Dar es Salaam: 21° | 29° Lusaka: 15° | 28° Harare: 13° | 27° Currency: GBP to NAD 23.64 | EUR to NAD 19.88 | CNY to NAD 2.5 | USD to NAD 18.19 | DZD to NAD 0.13 | AOA to NAD 0.02 | BWP to NAD 1.3 | EGP to NAD 0.37 | KES to NAD 0.14 | NGN to NAD 0.01 | ZMW to NAD 0.69 | ZWL to NAD 0.04 | BRL to NAD 3.33 | RUB to NAD 0.21 | INR to NAD 0.22 | USD to DZD 133.77 | USD to AOA 872.64 | USD to BWP 13.49 | USD to EGP 48.17 | USD to KES 129.48 | USD to NGN 1555 | USD to ZAR 18.19 | USD to ZMW 26.05 | USD to ZWL 321 | Stock Exchange: JSE All Share Index Same 0 | Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) Overall Index 1783.48 Down -2.4% | Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) MASI 13456.34 Up +0.17% | Egyptian Exchange (EGX) 30 Index 27828.92 Down -0.44% | Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) DCI 9380.4 Same 0 | NSX: MTC 7.75 SAME | Anirep 8.99 SAME | Capricorn Investment group 17.34 SAME | FirstRand Namibia Ltd 49 DOWN 0.50% | Letshego Holdings (Namibia) Ltd 4.1 UP 2.50% | Namibia Asset Management Ltd 0.7 SAME | Namibia Breweries Ltd 31.49 UP 0.03% | Nictus Holdings - Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 472.66/OZ UP +0.17% | Copper US$ 4.44/lb DOWN -0.0043 | Zinc US$ 2 884.80/T DOWN -0.62% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 84.58/BBP UP +0.48% | Platinum US$ 1 022.43/OZ UP +1.97% Sport results: Currie Cup: NovaVit Griffons 10 vs 52 Vodacom Bulls Rugby World Cup U20: New Zealand U20 31 vs 55 France U20 | Australia U20 36 vs 29 Wales U20 | England U20 31 vs 20 Ireland U20 | Georgia U20 40 vs 36 Fiji U20 | Argentina U20 34 vs 24 South Africa U20 | Italy U20 28 vs 15 Spain U20 Weather: Katima Mulilo: 12° | 32° Rundu: 12° | 33° Eenhana: 11° | 33° Oshakati: 11° | 31° Ruacana: 14° | 31° Tsumeb: 15° | 29° Otjiwarongo: 9° | 28° Omaruru: 9° | 27° Windhoek: 8° | 23° Gobabis: 10° | 28° Henties Bay: 11° | 17° Wind speed: 18km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 06:18, High tide: 12:50, Low Tide: 18:28, High tide: 00:54 Swakopmund: 13° | 15° Wind speed: 23km/h, Wind direction: SW, Low tide: 06:16, High tide: 12:48, Low Tide: 18:26, High tide: 00:52 Walvis Bay: 11° | 20° Wind speed: 28km/h, Wind direction: SW, Low tide: 06:16, High tide: 12:47, Low Tide: 18:26, High tide: 00:51 Rehoboth: 9° | 25° Mariental: 9° | 26° Keetmanshoop: 9° | 23° Aranos: 9° | 27° Lüderitz: 10° | 18° Ariamsvlei: 9° | 21° Oranjemund: 10° | 18° Luanda: 20° | 22° Gaborone: 11° | 28° Lubumbashi: 12° | 29° Mbabane: 12° | 28° Maseru: 5° | 21° Antananarivo: 8° | 24° Lilongwe: 15° | 27° Maputo: 16° | 32° Windhoek: 8° | 23° Cape Town: 11° | 14° Durban: 14° | 27° Johannesburg: 12° | 22° Dar es Salaam: 21° | 29° Lusaka: 15° | 28° Harare: 13° | 27° Economic Indicators: Currency: GBP to NAD 23.64 | EUR to NAD 19.88 | CNY to NAD 2.5 | USD to NAD 18.19 | DZD to NAD 0.13 | AOA to NAD 0.02 | BWP to NAD 1.3 | EGP to NAD 0.37 | KES to NAD 0.14 | NGN to NAD 0.01 | ZMW to NAD 0.69 | ZWL to NAD 0.04 | BRL to NAD 3.33 | RUB to NAD 0.21 | INR to NAD 0.22 | USD to DZD 133.77 | USD to AOA 872.64 | USD to BWP 13.49 | USD to EGP 48.17 | USD to KES 129.48 | USD to NGN 1555 | USD to ZAR 18.19 | USD to ZMW 26.05 | USD to ZWL 321 | Stock Exchange: JSE All Share Index Same 0 | Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) Overall Index 1783.48 Down -2.4% | Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) MASI 13456.34 Up +0.17% | Egyptian Exchange (EGX) 30 Index 27828.92 Down -0.44% | Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) DCI 9380.4 Same 0 | NSX: MTC 7.75 SAME | Anirep 8.99 SAME | Capricorn Investment group 17.34 SAME | FirstRand Namibia Ltd 49 DOWN 0.50% | Letshego Holdings (Namibia) Ltd 4.1 UP 2.50% | Namibia Asset Management Ltd 0.7 SAME | Namibia Breweries Ltd 31.49 UP 0.03% | Nictus Holdings - Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 472.66/OZ UP +0.17% | Copper US$ 4.44/lb DOWN -0.0043 | Zinc US$ 2 884.80/T DOWN -0.62% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 84.58/BBP UP +0.48% | Platinum US$ 1 022.43/OZ UP +1.97%