Balu Nivison

Development Director & PR

I believe in the transformational power of creativity and physical expression to make major paradigm shifts.


Balu is a qualified Social Worker, an honours graduate from UCT and Rhodes University. After winning the final year dance award at Rhodes, Balu went on to complete the community dance course from the Laban College in London. Moving Art Originator, Clothing Designer, Nia dance instructor, scholar of ancient spiritual wisdom, and mother of four, Balu has been teaching dance and running transformational workshops, using dance as a vehicle for healing, expression and connection for the past 28 years.

Balu returned to South Africa with the intention of creating an integrated dance troupe that might work toward healing the scarred and divided South African psyche. Balu was a leading force in the ground-breaking production of Abamanyani (Unity) (1986), which played its part in irrevocably changing the socio-cultural landscape of dance in South Africa. This heralded a spate of important struggle productions, with which she was integrally involved. Balu was struck by the transformational power of creativity and physical expression to make major paradigm shifts.

She anchors her teaching in the weaving together of spiritual wisdom and dance practice. She has spent the last year engaging with the Khayelitsha Township as part of a dynamic team working on youth empowerment, transforming gangsterism and general enrichment of the community. She has been guided by a diverse group of mentor. Balu won two Western Cape Cultural Affairs Awards in 2016 for ‘Best Contribution to Cultural Activities’ and ‘Outstanding Achievement of Women in Arts and Culture’.


  • Art Culture and Music

  • Skills Development

  • Youth Development

Enduring unemployment and poverty in South Africa means that 4 million black youth have no prospects after school. Millions of ‘freedom’ generation kids grow up under worse material conditions than their parents did during the Apartheid era.

The amount of talent and creativity in South African schools is astonishing. Liberating that talent is the aim of the Indoni Dance Arts & Leadership Academy. A vital component of our trainees’ education is to rekindle hope, and provide dignity and life skills to young people.

The Indoni Dance Arts & Leadership Academy provides a three year post-school professional training programme for dance and integrated arts, including music, drama, and visual arts. Each student is empowered to become a creative collaborator in their own productive future.

With a bourgeoning youth population, unable to develop artistically through lack of access to higher education, and out of nothing but pure passion to make a difference, our young dance group has grown to 30 full time students all training at the Indoni Dance, Arts & Leadership Academy, now a registered Not-for-Profit (NPO) organisation.

Daily classes were held for the first year at the Masikanye Centre in the township of Gugulethu and our trainees have already wowed audiences with their performances around Cape Town, and especially at Artscape and Jazzart, where the Academy has established a firm reputation for delivering top quality dance performances. Indoni trainees have also travelled as far afield as Australia, in 2016, where they performed to sell-out audiences at the Africa Festival in Sydney and Perth.