‘We are like refuse in front of the guest of honour’ : Dancers’ Struggles and Tribulations in Tanzania

Daines Nicodem Sanga


Informed by the theory of attitude and original data gathered with dancers in Dar es Salaam and Iringa, this article argues that dancers in Tanzania are dogged by lack of recognition, infrastructural, attitudinal and economic challenges. These problems arise primarily because dancing is largely an ad hoc and autonomous career that employs a considerable number of Tanzanians regardless of their socio-economic and education background. However, what dancers encounter in the career disappoint many of them particularly when they want to use it to earn a living as terpsichoreans. The article shows that failure of community members and the government to give the performing arts industry, particularly theatre and dancing, the attention it deserves frustrated many artistes including dancers.  Thus, the article suggests that government-owned theatrical infrastructures be hired at affordable rates with more theatres to be built to ease the problem of limited venues for theatrical performances. Moreover, dealing with the problem of undervaluing dancers that, subsequently, impact on them economically and how they are perceived also requires a systematic documentation of the contributions of dancers and the theatre industry generally.  https://dx.doi.org/10.56279/ummaj.v9i2.7

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