Written by Eckhard Cloete
Selection of photography by Ingrid Owen, Alec Smith, Liz Henry and Alan Baxter
“We have all been designed for something greater than ourselves and our contribution to the world needs to have meaning.”
Brigitte Reeve-Taylor wanted to give more and do more. After many years of dancing, teaching dance and owning a highly successful dance studio, she was searching for her next move. A move with meaning. No one could have imagined that an abandoned puppy would put that move in motion and create something incredible.
Now is the time
This talented woman has always had an absolute love for animals which she expressed to all her students. One day in 2012, while driving along the highway, Brigitte saw a fragile puppy beside the road, starved and all alone. This is where her journey began.
As Brigitte drove the uncared-for puppy, Miles, to her vet, she knew that she had to make a difference, and now was the time. And, as the puppy gazed up at his rescuer with big, brown eyes, Dancers Love Dogs was born.
A show with a purpose
Brigitte decided to take her 35 years of dance experience and connections within the dance world to put on a spectacular show in order to raise money towards helping animals.
The money raised would go towards sterilisation of dogs within impoverished and rural areas. Brigitte knew that this would ensure that dogs wouldn’t keep breeding in an area where they’re not sure of continued food and care and curb the number of dogs being put down. It would also protect female dogs from contracting TVT (Transverse Venereal Tumour) cancer through mating and protect male dogs from testicular cancer, amongst others.
The dancers themselves would also benefit with a chance to showcase their talents in a professional production and gain exposure. Such opportunities are few and far between.
And so, the idea and the goal were in place; the next step was to get things going.
Brigitte decided to reach out on social media. To her delight, the responses just flooded in. She was overwhelmed by the passion others had for animals and the compassion to help.
Brigitte then began her #PurposeJourney to help dogs, as well as dancers and performers.
Dancers Love Dogs would put on a show each year and all the proceeds would go directly to animal sterilisations. Giving dancers and artists the chance to perform on a grand stage like the Artscape Theatre made this whole concept such a success.
Not only are the animals benefitting but also the dancers are receiving excellent exposure within this industry.
Brigitte’s purpose is to not only help animals but to influence others to use their talents, skills and time to help others. “We all have something we can give, and we need to put the effort in to do that. Our community needs focus, and there’s so much one can do to help… a small action can make a large impact,” says Brigitte.
A passion and fire for change
Dancers Love Dogs is a fully non-profit organisation; everything works from donations and everyone involved knows that they’re donating their time, expertise or experience; no one takes a cent from the funds raised. There have been so many key players who have helped this organisation, and it’s the open hearts of these people that have helped to make this organisation’s mission possible.
“If people trust your work, there is no limit to the support you will receive,” says Brigitte, who has two happy rescue dogs herself.
To date, Dancers Love Dogs has raised R2.1 million and over 10,300 animals have been sterilised. And they’re continuously growing.
Brigitte harnessed her passion for dance and animals to create this charity and not only helps dogs but educates dog owners too. Her passion and fire for change is an example to all and proves that each and every one of us has the power to change and the ability to have purpose.
And Miles, the pup who was such a catalyst for change, went on to be adopted and, to this day, is living a happy life with his forever family.
DON’T MISS THE NEXT PERFORMANCE! One Seat = One Sterilisation
Book your ticket now for Dancers Love Dogs on the 25th of October 2018 at the Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town.
Booking is essential and opens at Computicket on the 25th of August. One Seat = One Sterilisation.
On the 29th of July 2018, five gifted photographers donated their time and talent, and The Bello Studio at The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, Cape Town, donated its beautiful location for a shoot day for Dancers Love Dogs. Seventeen talented dancers from around Cape Town and 15 adorable dogs arrived to a magical day of fun and laughter with all the fur angels, while photographers Ingrid Owen, Alec Smith, Alan Baxter, Liz Henry, and Marchelle Hermanus turned it all into beautiful art. Follow Dancers Love Dogs’ Facebook page to see these inspiring photographs.
Find out more
Visit Dancers Love Dogs’ website and find out how you can help at www.dancerslovedogs.weebly.com and follow on Facebook @DancersLoveDogs (https://www.facebook.com/DancersLoveDogs/) Instagram: dancerslovedogs and Twitter: @DancersLoveDogs