Dance to stardom

2018-09-18 06:01
World hip-hop and boogie champion, Blake “The Champ” Williams, dances at St John’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Kensington.PHOTO: luvuyo mjekula

World hip-hop and boogie champion, Blake “The Champ” Williams, dances at St John’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Kensington.PHOTO: luvuyo mjekula

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One local learner could be the next dance sensation and star in a TV advert­.

But the learner’s “Gqom” dance moves must outshine those of scores of other primary school competitors across the country.

“Gqom”, which is native to South Africa, is a style of house music that features wavy and bass beats produced with a digital audio workstation. This style of house music is making waves around the world and has resulted in a specific dance style known as the “Gqom” dance.

Shoe company, Bata South Africa, is running a competition dubbed The Toughees Move Maker, which was launched last month. The winner of the competition will star in the footwear giant’s year-end Toughees television commercial.

The company urges primary school children to “show us their best dance moves – let ‘Gqom’ music be your inspiration as you move to the rhythm in your Toughees school shoes!”

Capetonian and world hip-hop champion, Blake “The Champ” Williams, has been stepping into primary schools, doing schoolyard activations and teaching dance to learners. These activations ran until Saturday 15 September.

Williams is the winner of the International Dance Organisation’s World Electric Boogie and Hip-Hop title in 2010 and 2011 and was voted Cosmo SA’s Sexiest Man of 2018.

He mesmerised learners and teachers of St John’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Kensington with his sleek dance moves on Friday 14 September.

Shortly before busting a move, Williams shared his life story with the children. He told them he was four years old when he started dancing. His role models are musicians Michael Jackson and Chris Brown.

He says his mission is to inspire South African youth “to do the best they can do with their own lives”.

The learners had a chance to show off their “Gqom” moves in the school’s hall. Two from each grade were randomly chosen by Williams. They danced in front of their mates and in the end five were chosen to receive prizes from Williams and Smile 90.4FM.

Williams says the learners’ response was “absolutely amazing”. “Their energy is so pure, they are so talented. Cape Town really has the best hidden talent.”

St John’s Grade 7 teacher and event coordinator, Taryn Johnson, says the chosen learners have potential and she has undertaken to help them upload their videos.

She says the children love Williams and the school would not turn down the opportunity to have him at the school.

Johnson adds that the competition is an element of positive exposure that the children need. “They face day-to-day challenges and this is something positive to brighten up their day,” she says.

The competition coincided with the school’s Leave Your Print campaign. Johnson says learners were allowed to wear flip-flops on the day, as a gesture to empathise with underprivileged children who do not have shoes.

V How to enter: Individuals are urged to upload a video (no longer than 60 seconds) of themselves onto showing off their dance skills in their Toughees school shoes, jamming to the latest in “Gqom” music.


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