The Johannesburg Youth Ballet is turning 40!

The Johannesburg Youth Ballet is turning 40 and is reaching out to all JYB alumni to share in this milestone celebration!

Since 1976 well over 1 800 young dancers from the greater Johannesburg area have been members of the Johannesburg Youth Ballet or the JYB, as it is fondly known. It is only appropriate that all who have had an association with this pioneering youth company help to celebrate its 40th Birthday.

The management appeals to all past members to make contact with the JYB by emailing your contacts to Brenda Sakellarides on or connecting on the JYB Alumni FB page where memories and photos can also be uploaded and shared.

The 2016 season, A Midsummer Night’s Dream & Other Ballets, will take place in The Mandela, Joburg Theatre from the 14 – 16 October. It is hoped that the JYB alumni will support the gala opening in unprecedented numbers.

With funding from the National Arts Council, the JYB has secured the services of dance writers Adrienne Sichel and Tammy Ballantyne to archive the story of The Johannesburg Youth Ballet.

The company was established by the visionary Audrey King who, in 1976, defiant in the face of apartheid laws and draconian political restrictions, resolved to take a racially integrated group of young Johannesburg dancers to participate, by invitation, in The International Festival of Youth and Performing Arts in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1977.

The Johannesburg Youth Ballet is a story of vision, purpose, dedication and perseverance, which deserves to be told. It is hoped that the archival publication will be published in late 2017 to mark the end of the 40th anniversary year.

The management has gathered old programmes, newspaper clips, old photographs and videos to ensure that the story is safely told. There are also the inevitable gaps that they would like to fill. These are the years that are not reflected in the scrapbook and for which they are struggling to find programmes.

It is hoped that members from the founding years (1976 – 1985) in particular will come forward to share these memories. The JYB archive is ready to be the secure new home to the old photographs, the signed programmes, posters, videos, recordings, cards and all other memorabilia belonging to its alumni. These items hold the history and the reflection of South Africa’s oldest youth company.

Former JYB members are requested to make contact as soon as possible, preferably before end September, to ensure that as many alumni as possible are at the Gala opening on October 14.

True to its origins and proven track record the JYB’s primary focus remains to nurture and train young dancers from all socio-economic backgrounds in the art of theatre dance and to foster an enduring love and appreciation of classical ballet and South African contemporary dance.

JYB Alumni (1976-2016)

The Johannesburg Youth Ballet is a proud and grateful recipient of National Arts Council
Company funding and extends warm thanks and acknowledgement to the NAC, as well as its media partner, Creative Feel magazine.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream & Other Ballets runs from 14 to 16 October at the Mandela
Theatre, Joburg Theatre.

Performance times: Friday 14 October – Gala Opening at 19h30; Saturday 15 October and Sunday 16 October at 11h00 and 15h00.

Tickets: R100 – R120. For tickets call 0861 670 670 or visit (block bookings are available) or at the Joburg Theatre box office OR online at

Patrons can also book and pay via the Nedbank app and at selected Pick n Pay stores (full list at

For further information please visit or email

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