Local dancer aims to get PMB moving

2010-09-18 00:00

BONWA Mbontsi is a man on a mission — to put his city on the map when it comes to dance. And the So You Think You Can Dance finalist firmly believes there’s no reason why another talented dancer from Maritzburg can’t make it to the finals of the SABC1 reality dance show in the future.

Mbontsi, a Maritzburg College old boy, was voted off the show on Wednesday after he and on-screen partner Tumie Letsoenyo of Soweto, failed to impress the judges and viewers with their Jungle Book-themed quickstep.

It was the second week in a row that the young contemporary dancer had to have a go at a ballroom number, and while he enjoyed it, he can’t help wishing he had been given the chance to do other genres and so prove his versatility.

“A lot of people enjoyed the pieces I did, and I enjoyed doing them,” Mbontsi said. “The problem was that while the choreographer wanted us to do a show-dance, Harold [head judge Harold van Buuren] was judging from a technical ballroom point of view … and what the judges say can affect what people think.”

But, thanks to support he had from friends, who set up a Facebook group urging people to vote for him, and his foster parents, Brendan and Jenny Bell, and mentor, Lyn Chemaly from St Anne’s College, the judges’ criticism proved easy to deal with.

“I really value what Brendan and Jenny think … they know what I’m capable of,” he added.

It’s the second time Mbontsi, who is studying for a BA degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, has entered So You Think You Can Dance, and getting exposure was one of the key reasons.

“It would have been cool to win, the money would have been cool too, but I’m thinking more long term. I was looking at this as my introduction into this world …” he said.

“I want to put Pietermaritzburg on the map dancewise. I want to offer classes … and hopefully … more kids will be keen to take up dancing.”


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