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Heather van Niekerk off to France

Date Released: Mon, 8 August 2016 14:48 +0200

Heather is in the final stages of completing her Masters degree in Ethnomusicology in the Department of Music at RU.

The focus of her research is on pantsula dance in several townships of Johannesburg. She departs next week for another Masters degree in ethnochoreology. She says, 'I am a firm believer in following your passion. When I started studying Ethnomusicology in my first year at Rhodes, I had no idea I would end up studying it to Masters level. Many people have asked me, "what are you going to do with that?" and although I didn't know the answer, I knew if I followed my interests, things would work out.

This scholarship is an incredible opportunity that I would never have received if it weren't for my studies in Ethnomusicology and Drama as well as the support of my supervisor, Dr. Lee Watkins. I am also indebted to the pantsula dancers in Grahamstown, from Via Kasi Movers and Dlala Majimboz, who took the time to speak with me and show me the pantsula way of life. I look forward to learning about how to study dance as intangible cultural heritage and to bring these skills back to South Africa when I return.

Heather’s programme is offered at four universities in France, Germany, Finland, and the UK.