Seyi Oluwole: Founder The Dream Catcher Dance Group transforms street kids
Here, we have Seyi Oluwole (better referred to as Aunty Seyi) who is the founder/organizer of The Dream Catcher Dance Group. Seyi thought of making change in her world by picking some kids off the street and giving them a better life by training them on dancing skills.
What brought up this idea of getting kids of different backgrounds off street and teaching them dancing?
It all started when I was a preteen. My family had financial issues, so we were displaced, sleeping in churches but at a point we got where to stay in a slum but we lived better; that’s where I met some of these kids then I realised that my reality was different from theirs.
Who are the dream catchers?
The dream catchers are a set of despondent kids taken off the street and from poor homes with the aim of sending them to school through dance.
How many kids did you start with?
I started with sixteen (16) kids.
How many do you have now?
I have 10 children now.
How did they receive this when you approached them the first time?
It’s unexplainable, but I must say that they were so overjoyed.
Officially, when did you start this group?
I started this group when I was a teenager.
Were there auditions or tests for them before you took them in?
No. I taught the kids how to dance. They literally knew nothing about dance before I started training them.
Can we have the names and ages of the children that make up the group?
• TTD and she is 10years.
• SMALL MADAM and she is 8years.
• SHOLAY and he is 14years.
• BIBI and she is 15years.
• MIMI and she is 6years.
• NINI and she is 9years.
• PHAVE and he is 13 years.
• MACHINE AYE and he is 14years.
• T-BOYS and she is 12 years.
How do they acquire new dance steps?
They acquire new dance steps through rehearsals.
How do they cope with this time-consuming line and studying?
We have a time -table for everything we do in the house and also an agreement between the children and me that “if you don’t do well in school you won’t dance and when the others are rehearsing you will be studying” (laughs).
How many major concerts have they performed?
Many, can’t really say but yes, tens
What is the best moment they’ve had?
Naomi Campbell’s visit at the house and being introduced on stage by her.
Any recognition award so far?
Yes, we received an award.
What inspires the team to dance? What should the reader take away, interpretation or message you wish to convey?
Dance is their hope. It helps feed and keep them in school. Find your passion and pursue it.
What are their long-term career goals?
It varies depending on each child, some want to continue in this line, some want to do some other professions.
What has been the biggest challenge faced by the team?
Hard to say, because they feel super-excited all times
Do they feel okay with the little benefits they derive, being a social enterprise?
Yes, they feel okay.
Is there anyone heading the group among them?
How do they feel when they go for an event/competition and it turns out that they under-perform or they get beaten by other groups?
They feel down at first but later encourage themselves that they have to work harder next time to get there.
Have they ever performed in any Nigerian music video?
How often do they train/rehearse?
They rehearse and train every day.
Looking at their present lives now, do you thing they wish you had come earlier to pick them?
(smiles) of course, yes, they always wish I had been much earlier than then
How have people been responding to this enterprise?
They’ve been responding well, so far, it’s been positive and I must say we so much appreciate this.
What can you say dancing has changed in their lives?
Dancing has helped them improve in their education because they know that without doing well in school they won’t be able to dance.
Any words of encouragement to other kids out there who have no atom of hope of becoming somebody in life?
Fix your attitude, stay positive and keep working hard. One day the universe will speak for you because God sees your heart.
No comments yet