Studio 21 – Supporting children
in need in TRNC
Bt Chris Elliott
Following an event at the Roots Bar in Kucuk Erenköy where a donation was made to Studio 21, we have been sent the following profile about Studio 21 by Tina Luckhurst to share with our readers to highlight what warm-hearted people will do to help those less fortunate and we applaud them.
Studio 21 – Supporting children in need in TRNC
Dervish Zeybek started his project more than 3 years ago
By Dervish Zeybeck
“First of all there were only four kids that I met who needed help. I tried to take them with me to the dance schools I used to work for but there were some financial problems. The dance schools mainly focused on money and these kids were talented but had no money at all and couldn’t pay for the classes.
Finally I decided to start a new dance group, starting with the original four kids and I rented a place in 2011 in Nicosia. I have always wanted to help disadvantaged children, not by asking for charity but by teaching them to dance and entertain, hopefully one day at international level. It has never been done in North Cyprus before and it was a huge undertaking. But, within a couple of months of starting, we were more than 10 dancers, children from poor families, many with no education and most of them with no idea of how they would make it in life. We have worked really hard in the past couple of years.
We had the chance to work with hundreds of kids from almost every age. I have travelled all around the island and given free lessons and organized free workshops just to give everyone a chance to taste the joy of dance, sport and the arts in general. We want to share our experience with everyone no matter how hard or seemingly impossible it is without money or support but somehow we manage.
In the past 3 years we made the final of Turkey’s Got Talent and we have performed almost 200 different shows all around the island which helps to feed, home and clothe the kids.
Nowadays we are especially active in downtown (the walled city) Nicosia. We are working with the kids on the streets. Mostly, these kids do not go to school and have no social insurance. We have rehearsals and training every week and we have created two different dance groups with them. One of them is a hip hop group and the other one is a gypsy dance group.
I am so pleased that now four of our main dance group members are studying dance at GAU with a full scholarship and I really want to help many more to get the opportunity to create a life. We performed at Roots Bar for their Anniversary and with the money that Hannah and Ashley paid us plus a whip round of the audience, I was able to pay for the home and studio for another month. It is living hand to mouth so any donation from the Roots Ramblers Castle to Castle Challenge will help us to keep things going.
Our main aim is to break down all the prejudice that we have to face every day on this island. We are trying to show everyone that people can live a better life without discrimination”.
Dervish G. Zeybek