Two to tango to the top?

2009-08-29 00:00

DURBAN Latin American dancers Sibahle Mkhize and Minenhle Gazu are hoping to win a place at the World Dance Event in Cape Town in September.

That’s the prize that awaits the winners of Superdance South Africa, the reality television dance show that will be broadcast on at 9 pm on Wednesdays from September 16.

Mkhize, a full-time medical student from KwaMashu, and Gazu, an architectural technologist from Umlazi, had to strut their stuff in front of a trio of former champion dancers — Michael Wentink, Tebogo Kgobokoe and Kagiso “KG” Ntseane — at Durban’s BAT Centre, before getting the nod to go through to the finals of the competition.

Speaking after their performance, Mkhize said it has been a tough experience: “The space is very small and having people look at you so critically is so nerve-racking, but we managed to pull it off.”

The couple, who have been dancing together for four months, performed a rhumba and a cha-cha for the competition, but their favourite style is the dramatic pasa doble.

Getting to this point hasn’t been easy, however. “I started dancing after I saw it on TV,” Mkhize said, “but, because ballroom and Latin American are not freely available in the townships, it was only once I was at varsity that I started doing classes.”

Asked why she thought people should get involved in dancing, Mkhize said: “It’s a really good stress reliever and body toner, it’s glamorous and you look good even when you’re sweating.”

South African dance queen Kgobokoe said she and her fellow judges were pleasantly surprised by the standard of dancing in the Durban heats, but disappointed that not many couples had turned up on the day.

Most of the dancers who did make it to the auditions had heard about the event through word of mouth.

Asked what the judges were looking for, Kgobokoe said: “The complete package. We want people who have taken time with their costumes, couples who can dance to the music, who understand the techniques of dancing, understand their bodies and understand partner work, because Latin American is all about male/female relationships.”

Johannesburg-born Wentink, a former Latin American world champion and winner, with partner Zuraida Jardine, of the first season of Strictly Come Dancing, said the judging experience was proving to be nerve-racking.

To find out how Mkhize and Gazu get on against finalists from Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town for the coveted spot at the World Dance Event in Cape Town and a cash prize of R20 000, tune in to from September 16.

If you are interested in taking up ballroom or Latin American dancing, log on to the website and click on the ballroom/latin tag for a list of teachers in Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

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