It is an open space where the soul is crawling with specks of luminosity and the eyes burst like a mirage between the setting sun and serene sea.  The wooden floor trembles with the rhythm from the dancer’s feet, following their instructor, step by step, hand in hand. Their heartbeats drumming within their ears as each stentorian moment passes. Droplets of sweat heavily invading their unsullied eyes are a welcomed addition to the fusion of emotions.
Their faces light up with exhilaration as they are praised for their hard work.  After hours of taking in what felt like music transformed into fluid adrenaline, a class full of teenagers runs towards their water bottles in an attempt to revitalize, and the room fills with invigorated voices. The dance instructor sits at the edge of the stage as he gapes at his masterpiece come together; no, this is not the success of the elegantly choreographed movements. This masterpiece is the rhapsodies of delight that the dance brings to his students; the untainted enthusiasm in their faces together with bonds created through the inception of what might become a lifelong passion. This is the masterpiece delicately forged by Iqraam Rahim.

Iqraam Rahim having an expressive moment with his dance class. Photo sourced from: Joe Khan

Self-expression can manifest through many channels, but one that many are accustomed to is dance.  Dance has played a culminating role in the moulding of human beings over the years, be it professional, recreational or even religious; it is an eminent and favored avenue for self-expression.  Iqraam Rahim, a master of movement, has been submerged in the art of dance for 22 years.  A familiar face to the city of Durban, Rahim began reinforcing his passion for the rhythm of movement based on his natural impulsion to music but, as he grew older, this passion emerged as a positive reinforcement in his life.

Dance radiates passion and passion is food for the soul. We flourish through our passion, so how serendipitous is it to live in a world where our passion can merge into our occupation and better yet, our expression?

“Self expression is the ability to be true to one’s unique self”, explains Rahim. To him, dance as his personal expression, is an unconscious materialisation of euphoria that is grounded on a state of comfort and familiarity.

Rahim with a fellow dancer in what he considers his happy place. Photo sourced from: Facebook

Anyone can learn the  art of dance, but there are only a few who can devote their heart to the steps they take.  It is this that we call giving voice to what we know. Expression can be unintentional; there are ventures that we devote ourselves to which could have no ardent meaning until we give it a voice, a piece of our soul.

Rahim is the sole owner of Rampage, a company and school that has flourished through his adoration for dance. It aims to empower those with a regard for dance and opens its doors for those old and young, in search of a swing in their step.  “Being a teacher of dance also falls within the way I choose to express myself because I feel an instant compulsion to encourage the individual growth of my students”, says Rahim.  Sharing knowledge with another person is a sacred relationship. He continued to explain that when his students have reached their rightful state of growth, the pride he feels is much like the gratification a father feels towards his child.

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Rahim sharing the stage with his students.  Photo sourced from: Joe Khan

Expression in dance is intertwined in our lives even in light hearted ways. Have you ever heard someone say “There’s no need to make a song and dance about it”? This is an informal phrase that reflects the expression one stimulates through dance. It might not be literal dance it is used to articulate a meaning of expression through a witty metaphor.

Rahim agrees that dance is central to the way numerous individual choose to express themselves, whether it is at a club on a Saturday night or your version of a 9-5 occupation; dance is movement with meaning.

Written by: Khinali Bagwandeen