Freedom Dance Studio

When former professional dancer Jemma Badenhorst first started Freedom Dance, her goal was to create a safe, welcoming space for dancers without the pressure often associated with dance studios.
Her adult open and wedding first dance classes have become exceptionally popular on the North Coast – both at her Umhlanga studio and at FITPOD.
Jemma has been dancing since she was three years old and is also an accomplished singer. A natural performer, she tried all of the traditional dance styles (like ballet, tap and modern dance) before moving across to Latin and ballroom. She discovered freestyle dancing when she was in high school.
Jemma competed in freestyle dancing competitions until matric when she and her partner came second at the SA Freestyle Championships. After school, she gave up competing to become a professional dancer, travelling around South Africa performing in large shows and corporate gigs led by well-known choreographer Kevin Ellis.
Simultaneously pursuing her singing career, Jemma did a bit of musical theatre when she moved to Cape Town to study, but finally found her ‘home’ with The Barnyard Theatre in 2014. Starting out as a dancer, Jemma was soon moved to lead singer, which, she says, brought her professional dancing career to an end. It was at Barnyard that she met her future husband (a bass guitar player) and the couple eventually left show business and moved to the North Coast.
“I started working in the corporate world, but I missed dancing and was always looking for a studio where I could just dance for fun.” Eventually, she started her own small studio in Umhlanga called
Freedom Dance, which became incredibly popular after Covid. “I think people just wanted to connect, dance and be healthy again. It blossomed into a wonderful community and the demand for a Ballito-based studio picked up quickly.” Jemma opened the Ballito Freedom Dance branch at FITPOD in 2023.
Freedom Dance offers fun, diverse open dance classes for adults (both beginners and advanced) as well as wedding first dance lessons. The dancing style, Jemma says, is ‘open commercial’ and classes are fun, easy-to-follow and perfect for those who have always wanted to try dancing but found it too intimidating. “We don’t focus on perfection, it’s just about having fun, moving your body and supporting each other. My goal was always to open dancing up more – both to ‘non-dancers’ and women who have danced for a long time but never pursued it professionally or former professional dancers who want to dance again, just for the passion.”
Jemma is also still actively pursuing her singing career, having released three tracks last year, one of them being number 2 on East Coast Radio’s top 100 songs for 2023.



17:15 – 18:15 (Beginners)

18:15 – 19:00 (Advanced)


BOOKINGS : 084 393 9815