The award winning Via Katlehong Dance was formed in 1992. Originally a community troupe, Via Katlehong was composed by youths from the township of Katlehong in the East Rand – a notorious war zone during the 1980’s uprising in south Africa – to keep away from the criminal activity raging in their township. Lead by Vusi Mdoyi, Steven Faleni and Buru Mohlabane, the company comprises a community school of dance and an 18-members who are professionally outfit. They specialize in "Pantsula", a South African township dance, and other neo-traditional forms such as "Gumboots" and other variations.
Via Katlehong have won many awards along the way, including FNB Vita Dance, Dance Umbrella awards, Gauteng Dance Showcase, KTV Most Brilliant Achievement and Gauteng MEC Development Award amongst others.
In the new South Africa, dance and kwaito music have slowly moved out of the township and in to the commercial arena. This commercialization of the culture has let to it being diluted and less true to the survival spirit that gave birth to it. Only few groups such as township-based Via Katlehong Dance have managed to bring the creativity by putting tap steels underneath their shoes to create other dance rhythms (tap pantsula), along with powerful whistlling, shouting, clapping and sheering energy and rebellious attitude of Pantsula dance onto the stage.
Gumboots dance was formed in the early fifties by the group of mine workers, to celebrate, to refresh their minds and for "toy toy" (protest). Via Katlehong has modernized the from in such a way that it works in collaboration with tap, Steps, Pantsula and traditional dance. The results can only be fully experienced by seeing it for yourself.