B-Boy aims for the stars

2016-07-19 06:00
Toufeeq Baatjies (20) from Eastridge was one of 20 dancers from South Africa to participate in the Redbull BC One camp held in Cape Town in June.   PHOTO: Tyrone Bradley/Red Bull Content Pool

Toufeeq Baatjies (20) from Eastridge was one of 20 dancers from South Africa to participate in the Redbull BC One camp held in Cape Town in June. PHOTO: Tyrone Bradley/Red Bull Content Pool

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A group of 20 gifted South African dancers were selected to attend the first ever Red Bull BC One Camp that took place in the Mother City in June and among the six talented Cape Town Dancers was a passionate young talent from Mitchell’s Plain.

Toufeeq Baatjies, from Eastridge, is well-known on the Red Bull BC One tournaments’ stage and also in Africa.

Baatjies tells People’s Post that his love for dancing started with him wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps.

“I fell in love with B-Boy in Standard 8. I saw it with my father because he used to be a B-Boy when he was younger and that influenced me. Break-dancing is in my blood I guess,” he says.

“I fell in love with it because I wanted to live out his dream and it is what I love.”

At the camp, dancers received valuable coaching across various topics including business, nutrition, sports psychology and media training.

All of these aim equip each dancer with knowledge that goes beyond their craft, to create a broader understanding of career growth and self-wellbeing.

Baatjies says he enjoyed interacting with the group of dancers who practice in various genres.

“Exchanging dance styles was the highlight for me – learning the history of different dance styles and getting to know the basics. But the camp was not only about dance – we also learnt about marketing ourselves and building a brand,” he says.

His craft has taken him to several stages around the world and he has the accolades to back it up.

He has danced in France, Egypt and Algeria and has no plans to stop there.

“I want to make a career of this but it will be hard. My plan for the next 10 years is to try and make it my job,” he says.

He is described as someone that lets his dance speak volumes.

Although quiet and shy in person, he comes alive on the dance floor.

Baatjies has been dancing since 2008.

The 20-year-old remembers approaching Black Noise’s Angelo Van Wyk to teach him how to B-Boy.

He considers himself to be more of a technical B-Boy because of the way he is able to play around with the moves and make it his own.

His passion to excel in life is derived from growing up on the streets of the Cape Flats.

“A lot of young people in Mitchell’s Plain, and even the friends I had growing up, fell into a life of drugs. I am trying to make something of myself to show them that there is something better than drugs and gangsterism,” he says.

At this stage, the current goal topping his list is to win the International Red Bull BC One tournament.

“I am pursuing my dreams. I want to be the best B-Boy in South Africa so much that I make it overseas,” he says.

He looks forward to making his dream a reality through hard work, focus and determination.

His advice to other young dancers is to never give up.

“Nothing is impossible. If the sky is the limit all is possible. Keep your head straight and just do you.”

V For more on Toufeeq’s career follow him on bboytoufeeq on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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