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Dance Experience with OYO Namibia

31 July - 25 August 2017

Would you like to work with an NGO that harnesses dance and other arts to engage, inform and empower young people to tackle HIV and related social issues? Would you like to work with the only dance company from Africa selected to be part of the Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival at Glasgow 2014? We are seeking six outstanding, self-motivated and energetic students or graduates with a desire to experience dance in a development context.

You will be working with six members of the OYO Dance Troupe to create a piece to reach students and members of the public.

The piece will directly tackle a social issue that is pertinent to the moment and community. We are looking for talented individuals who have the skills to work creatively and to a tight deadline, who are vibrant, reliable performers. In Namibia, one person in every five lives with HIV/AIDS and the country ranks fifth worldwide in HIV prevalence. Of approximately 40 new infections every day (within a national population of just 2 million people), 44% are estimated to be among young people aged 15 to 24 years, among which 77% of those newly infected are young women. Factors involved in HIV/AIDS prevalence are multifarious and include social, economic and cultural factors. Young people are particularly at risk with HIV/AIDS remaining a persistent and pervasive threat to Namibian youth. But HIV/AIDS is not the only social challenge faced by our youth.

Building on the cultural significance in Namibia of dance, drama and music, the OYO Trust uses arts with young people to tackle social issues and promote behaviour change.

OYO’s application of a highly participatory... and learner-centered pedagogy represents a model of excellence and best practice.

Hon. Nangolo Mbumba, MP, Minster for Education, September 2009.

On this dance experience with OYO, there will be three weeks of full-day rehearsals in Windhoek to exchange skills and create the new piece, immediately followed by performances. The show venues may be schools, with indoor or outdoor spaces, and/or community venues. There will be no sprung floors and sometimes surfaces will be concrete and/or dusty. Performances may be followed by facilitated discussions to maximise the opportunity for behaviour change. There could be one or multiple venues in a day, and each day will include unpredictable last minute changes, so we’re looking for adaptable positive people who are expert at improvising, not just as dancers!

Theme for the 2012 internship project: Corrective rape (creation of the piece ‘Magda’) Check youtube link Theme for the 2013 internship project: Baby dumping (creation of the piece ‘The dark Medea’) Theme for the 2014 internship project: Passion killing (creation of the piece ‘Ever since Helen’)

Theme for the 2015 internship project: Teenage pregnancy/abortion (creation of the piece ‘Ania’)

Theme for the 2016 internship project: Orphans and Vulnerable children (creation of the piece ‘the phantom of Namibia)

Rehearsals will be led by OYO’s founding Artistic Director, Philippe Talavera. The visiting artists will be invited to facilitate classes and will contribute to the creative process. OYO uses mostly physical theatre techniques, with influences dependent upon the expertise of the visiting artists (i.e. you and the Namibian dancers). Are you interested in a career in performing, choreographing, development, community work, youth work, dance education or dance management? This month in Namibia could enable you to develop your skills, work out your key strengths and gain valuable CV points. Furthermore, you will have an experience with OYO that you will never forget and forge lifelong friendships.

How much does it cost?

 Early bird: on or before 10 March 2017: £1,200, which includes your accommodation in Windhoek, airport transfer and your in-country travel for OYO. (NB This rate is possible at the current exchange rate, therefore early applications are encouraged.)

 After 10 March 2017: £1,400  We will ask you to fundraise with a target of £500, which you are of course welcome to exceed! You could do a sponsored run, singathon, speed-dating or wine-tasting. This is to raise awareness of what you are doing and to provide OYO with much-needed core funding.  You need to book and pay for your own international flight to Windhoek airport (please agree on dates and times with us before booking) as well as your travel and health insurance.  You will also want to bring money to cover your day-to-day living costs i.e. transport, meals, socialising. £10 per day should be about right, though the exchange rate varies.

When is it? The internship will run from 31 July - 25 August 2017.

Applications are open from 15 December 2016.

How do I apply?

Please send us your CV and your statement of interest, explaining why you’d like to spend four weeks with OYO. Include what you think you could offer to the OYO Dance Troupe in terms of your dance skills, experience and interest. Please confirm in your letter that you are able to cover all the costs indicated above. Email your CV and motivation letter to with a copy to and