Tap dance in the slums of Kenya

Beneficiary event: Tap beats the slums! / VIDEO COMPILATION TAP CLASSES kENYA

Would you like to support project www.tapdansinkenia.nl? You can by transferring money (every little bit helps!) to bank account NL03 INGB0679 8823 75 M van der Ven, quoting Kenya and your e-mail address for a report later on.

Collection campaigns:  

Tap sets - And so much more...

Video’s of the tap performances of the Ghetto Exposed students in 2012, 2013,
rehearsal 2014, graduation performance 2014 and workshop 2014 with Sawala Dance Company

EXPOSING THE POSITIVE SIDE - photos - video of tap dance - compilation of May 2014

Review in the Kenyan Standard

Extensive report of the first trip (in Dutch)
Facebook page with photo report

Fixed sponsor/Patron: Fiorens run by Edwin Werner 
Special Sponsor 2013: Ruben Sanchez Dance Wear en Tap on Festival Barcelona
Design flyer and and tap dance kits: Mark Werner of TradeMarkMC

Tap Dance in the slums of Kenya:


This year, tap dancer Marieke van der Ven has gone to Kenya for the third time to teach tap dance to the young people of the slums of Nairobi. These young people follow a course by the Dutch foundation Ghetto Exposed to become professional dancers. By developing their talents to a high standard, the foundation offers motivated young people a brighter future. Because tap dance is practically unknown in Kenya, the tap dance skills offer them an extra opportunity to perform and teach. The ultimate goal is to teach these young people a few weeks for 5 years in a row so that when the students finish, they can work as professional tap dancers. On Marieke’s Facebook page you will find an album with photos of her first trip as a volunteer,  teaching tap in the slums of Nairobi. Here you will be able to download an extensive report of this first trip (in Dutch).

Flyer Performance 3rd of August 2013


Through crowdfunding I’ve been able to travel to Kenya to teach as a tap dance teacher for Ghetto Exposed. It is truly remarkable what Ghetto Exposed achieves with these students. Last May I was there too. It was hard work, but so worth it!

With 5 of the students that are about to graduate, I have worked on a choreography that I taught them when I was there for a month in 2013. Under the leadership of Caroline Slot they have prepared the choreography. Within two hours everybody remembers the steps so we can work on timing and pace. During the second rehearsal they even manage to add a new piece of choreography. During the graduation performace Exposing the Positive Side they will show and let you hear this choreography! Soon I will have a good video of it and I'll post it here.

This time I also tought Sawala. This is a dance crew of one of the students, Suleiman Maningi. He has already learnt his dance crew a small tap base and I can build onto that. It’s not a lesson for people that have never tapped before and that makes it so special! Suddenly you find yourself tap dancing in Buruburu, an area in Nairobi. An ex-student of Ghetto Exposed from my first trip to Kenya two years ago, is there too. And although she can’t take part in the Ghetto Exposed course anymore, she still knows how to tap and remembers everything I taught her back then. I am so proud of all my Kenyan students!

From left to right: Kevin, David, Noel, Francis, Davillah, Marieke, Suleiman rehearsing at the Art Centre Go Down.

 This time I’ve also helped coaching/mentoring the students. That was also fun. As an outsider you can sometimes push people just enough to motivate them to do their last theory assignments or to tell them how important it is to communicate and follow up on agreements.  

Through Ghetto Exposed more things have come my way. I’ve met Lameck. Lameck is a boy from the slums of Huruma. The first time I was in Kenya, I fell down the stairs on my first day of teaching and ended up going to the local hospital. Lameck was there and helped me. Now I can help him by paying his school fees. In May I met his aunty and other relatives and got to see their humble home. I gave him a mobile phone, so that it becomes easier to stay in contact. I’m hoping that by doing these things I can give him a brighter future. He wants to become a guitarist and practises hard when he gets the chance. Through others I managed to get hold of a guitar for him. David Waweru, someone I know through tap dancing and Facebook, has managed to get the guitar to Lameck. Here is a video of the moment Lameck got this guitar. Now he can practise at home (and not just at the weekend)!

In October 2014 he will get another guitar. This one will have an element in it and a speaker so he can amplify the sound. Thanks to Geert Slot, Marco Akanawa and Mary Sasabone!

What Ghetto Exposed does for it’s students, is incredible. Not only have they become professional dancers and photographers, they have become more active members of society. They have grown stronger and more independent. They can now work as a dancer or photographer. Ghetto Exposed has also trained them in business skills and communicative skills so that they can truly work independently.

Would you like to support project www.tapdansinkenia.nl? You can by transferring money (every little bit helps!) to bank account NL03 INGB0679 8823 75 M. van der Ven, quoting Kenya and your e-mail address for a report later on. I will be going again in May/June 2016!


At the moment a few students have started tap dance on their own. Suleiman Maningi is teaching his dance crew Sawala Dance Company tap. Adam Lucas, a professional dancer that has followed all the Ghetto Exposed tap classes and had private lessons, uses tap dancing in his performances and occasionally gives tap workshops. Caroline, the dance director of Ghetto Exposed, has also followed all the lessons and now teaches at a dance school in Karen.

Outside of tap: Two students of Ghetto Exposed have already graduated in February 2014: Mishael Victor and Alexus Gazaqut. They perform and organise workshops. 
Also it's remarkable to see how the students have grown since the first I was teaching them. They make plans for the future in stead of thinking short term only. Some of them started renting their own place. Thanks to Facebook and What's App I'm still in contact with most of them when I'm in Holland.


Graduating Mishael and Alexus, photographer Stephen Ouma


To realise all this, money is needed! For four weeks tap lessons a year we roughly need 3000 Euro. Please help Marieke with a few Euro’s and help these young people. If you would also like to contribute, please pay to accountnumber NL03 INGB 0679 88 2375 quoting M van der Ven, Utrecht quoting Tapping in the slums and note your email adress to receive a report later. Every little bit helps! 

If you would like to contribute more regularly, send Marieke an e-mail to make an appointment!

Tap shoes:

In the meantime we have collected enough tap shoes (close to 70 pairs!) But we could still use larger shoe sizes (above 40/7.5 both men- and women tap shoes).

Thank You!

Marieke van der Ven

Marieke teaching in orphanage Imani First tap dance performance Ghetto Exposed dancers Marieke teaching the Ghetto Exposed dancers

Collecting campaign:

Tap dance kits

Mark Werner has dedicated himself to this charity. He designed beautiful flyers and.. made up the tap dance kits!

For a minimum of 3 Euros you can buy a tap dance kit which can transform your daily shoes into tap shoes! They sound awesome! Here is a short video of Anthe Tervoort tapping a piece using a kit during Queen’s Birthday!

And here you will find a free tap lesson to go with your tap kit!


Ruben Sanchez Dance Wear and Tap on Festival Barcelona

The Spanish tap dancer Ruben Sanchez has designed tap shoes that sound good and are affordable. He also sells (tap-) dance clothing. For every pair of shoes and or clothing he sells, a small percentage will go to project Tap dance in Kenya! He has also organised that every participant to the Tap On Festival in Barcelona will donate a Euro! So that is another good reason to visit the festival apart from the fantastic team of teachers that they have!



Tap dance workshops and perforsmance on Queens Birthday 2013!

Queens Birthday at noon; tappers Anthe and Lisette were at the city hall. Tap dance workshops, performances and “make your own tapshoes” with our tap dance kits. The proceeds of the day went to the charity Tap dance lessons in the slums of Kenya! After the coronation you could find us on stage at the Ridderschapstraat, Utrecht with the band Zimihc! Thank you to all generous givers and we wish the proud owners of the tap dance kits lots of fun!

Clear your attick and help the young people in the slums of Kenya!

On Queen’s Birthday we got started for charity. It was a great success, but we still need more money and you could help:

Fanatic sellers: Do you love selling stuff on Marktplaats or Ebay? Would you like to donate part of your proceeds to this charity? Or would you like to sell other people’s stuff for charity?

Collectors: Do you have old items that you would like to sell or let other people sell for you?

Helping hands: Would you like to help, but you are not sure how?

If the answer to any of the above was YES, please let us know: mail@mariekevanderven.nl / lisetty@hotmail.com and/or anthetervoort@hotmail.com

Tenner Campaign on Facebook

Through Marieke’s Facebook page people are asked to donate a tenner to account number NL03 INGB 0679 88 2375 in name of M van der Ven, Utrecht, The Netherlands quoting Tapping in the slums and your e-mail address to receive a report later. If 200 people would donate a tenner, we would have 40 hours of tap lessons for the students of Ghetto Exposed!

Charity party: Tapping in the slums of Kenya

Mary Sasabone organised a charity party for Ghetto Exposed on the 12th of April from 20.00 till late in Amsterdam. The party was great! Dancing at Café Restaurant Cocos in Amsterdam with live band, salsa, merengue etc.!

Money boxes were at:

- Open day 2013, 2014 and 2015 at Lucia Marthas Institute of Performing Arts

- Chemist Sukking, Soesterberg

- Hairdresser CLUB kappers in the centre of Utrecht 

- Film Actors Academy Amsterdam  

If you know of another place to leave a moneybox, let us know at mail@mariekevanderven.nl 

Give young people from the slums a chance, do a tap dance!

If you have any ideas to collect money, let us know! Send an e-mail to mail@mariekevanderven.nl!


The photos were taken by Ghetto Exposed photographers in training: Steven Ouma, Weche Joseph and George Omondi.

The flyer is designed by Mark Werner www.trademarkmc.nl


For more info: mail@mariekevanderven.nl

www.mariekevanderven.nl / www.ghettoexposed.com