Drummies bring the heat

Hoërskool Roodepoort's drummies member Chantè Fourie. Photo: Sonwabile Antonie

Sonja Nortman has been working hard to bring the art of drummies into the spotlight. Together with her assistants Robyn Lindeque, Kristi van der Westhuizen and Renee van Coller, they have been leading a revolution in Roodepoort. Starting at Laerskool Roodebeeck, Nortman introduced drummies to those who wanted to learn. Within a few years, the school was a force to be reckoned with as they won title after title and have maintained their consistent performances. It is no surprise the school’s team has excelled under Nortman’s tutelage. She herself started drummies when she was in grade two and has been awarded Gauteng colours three times. She then received her Protea colours and competed in England where she and her team became World Champions.

“Everything runs in formation, from the music and props to the rhythm pageantry of each performance set. When all of these components come together then the performance comes alive. It is hard to explain until you watch a team perform. The pupils I started teaching to drummies immediately and it is because they enjoy that they have done so well,”

Nortman started teaching drum majorettes and cheerleading at the Roodebeeck in 2013. The following year, the team of young performers won the Champion of Champions and the South African National Championships. Here they won 15 gold medals for all their hard work at the competition. Last year, the team took on the Nationals competition in Bloemfontein where they made a clean sweep of their opposition, winning all the medals available. This year, the young performers will be looking to repeat their impressive feat in Germiston. The will participate in the Nationals competition in Germistion.

“The girls practice 12 to 15 hours a week. Drummies is very time consuming and to excel at it you need dedication. Passion and hard work are just as important,”

This year, Nortman and her team have started working with Hoërskool Roodepoort. One of the reasons Nortman and her team decided to expand is because of continuity as most of her pupils from Laerskool Roodebeeck have now started school at Hoërskool Roodepoort. The school has welcomed Nortman and her team with open arms and is ecstatic at their current results.

Although this year is their debut year competing in drummies, the school has already won the Presidents League. Their victory ensures they will compete at the Nationals competition next month. If successful, the team will move onto the elite section of the league.

One of the pillars of the team is talented Chantè Fourie who received her Protea colours in December last year. She is now preparing to represent South Africa and compete in Croatia at the International Team Trials. She started drummies in 2012.

“Drummies teaches pupils about discipline and time management because drummies is so time consuming, you learn to manage time better. Watching pupils gain self-confidence is amazing and is one of the reasons I want more people to learn what Drummies is,” she said.

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  AUTHOR
Sonwabile Antonie
Journalist

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