By: Julia Heita
Chief executive officer and founder of the Equipped Performance, Arts, and Corporate Academy, Stanley Mareka, has announced the transformation of his academy to a dancing school.
Mareka has been in the arts industry for over 20 years. He has been running his academy since 2002, but it was formerly publicly launched in 2012.
He said they would follow the approach to educating with the school, similar to how tertiary institutions and universities operate.
“The aim is to stimulate performance arts and link it with corporate affairs so that we can find business opportunities and have a mindset with corporate ideas.”
He said he has been trying to do a lot throughout the years. He then went to Germany to upgrade his teaching and study how to dance and be innovative in the arts of drama dance and everything in the performance arts.
“I have been teaching at the College of the Arts since I returned as a lecturer, but realised that this was not going to help me, so I thought of creating my own curriculum, syllabus, and institution so that the ideas that I have is purely Namibian and can be able to show how urban life can be engaged with our art form.”
Mareka said that the school will accommodate anyone from age five regardless of their dancing skills.
“We are here to accommodate everyone because we have the heart to develop others. The art of music has been dying, and we don’t have time to push anybody backwards but to have them recognised no matter their backgrounds,” he said.
The dancing school accepted enrollment this month and has attracted 20 applicants, but the initial target was to reach at least 80 students before the official opening day in May 2022.
“We are also busy with many renovations at the head office and main campus. We want to make sure that the building is conducive. We already had auditions on the 19th of this month.”
Although the entertainment industry has been suffering and seeing a slump where so many senior and upcoming artists struggle to make ends meet, Mareka said the industry only looks terrible in fans’ eyes.
He sees that his academy can fulfil this purpose and noted that a stumbling block is the support system.
“I tried to reach out, show my artwork, but every time I go out to show my artwork and ask for support, it’s always something that requests unnecessary stuff. They make it hard for you on purpose by asking for irrelevant documents, and they don’t even care. The industry is like a tree,” he stressed.
Mareka encouraged upcoming artists in any industry to associate themselves with people who have the same passion and energy. He said people should change the atmosphere for themselves to grow.
“My utmost advice is that, if you have the courage to love the industry the way you know it, find someone that has the same ability as you are. I am passionate about making the industry grow, not just to dance, so I will welcome people like that and help them out to feel special. Don’t lose yourself in the industry. The industry is an overarching umbrella, but you have to see who is holding the umbrella and how wide the umbrella is. Maybe you might find shade where it’s not raining around you,” he explained.