History

Soweto Street Beat Dance Theater Inc. (SSB) is the only professional South African dance troupe in the United States. We began our work in 1989 in Soweto and relocated to Atlanta in 1992. The SSB is an organization, which incorporated in 1993 and became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1994.

Our mission is to teach audiences of all ages and cultural backgrounds, especially at risk youth, about the cultural arts and history of South Africa. Executive Director, Peter Ngcobo, and Artistic Director, Isabelle Doll Ngcobo, have fifty years combined experience in African Dance performance and instruction.

The SSB began as an organization, which targeted at risk youth surrounded by crime and poverty in Soweto Township of Johannesburg, South Africa. These young men were taught to become professional dancers, cultural ambassadors. They learned methods of channeling their energies that were building up throughout years of Apartheid into positive, creative activities. Today, SSB continues this teaching to South African youth, bringing them to America to study dance and to get valuable academic experience not readily available in South Africa.

SSB prepares an annual performance during Black History Month, in addition to special public shows and hundreds of school appearances throughout the year. These performances focus on the history of the Zulu Nation, and our unique dance and music styles that stem from South African ethnic groups Zulu, Swazi, Venda, Shangaan, Bushmen, Sotho, and Xhosa.

Over SSB’s history, it has performed for annual audiences totally approximately 10 million persons, which includes academic interactive mini performances for audiences of approximately 800,000(K – 12) students in USA schools.

The dance performances of Soweto Street Beat have helped to set a precedent for contemporary dance and culture in the New South Africa. After Apartheid, SSB became the first professional South African dance company to perform at venues and festivals in South Africa, Europe and America.

 

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Email peterb@sowetostreetbeat.net or call 404-587-7792