Local darts star's dance moves on point

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Cape Town - He is one of the world’s top darts players, but Devon Petersen’s ability to hit the bull’s eye is not the only talent that keeps audiences entertained.

His signature dance moves have crowds of darts enthusiasts cheering for more as he continues to dominate at international tournaments, where he represents South Africa.

Devon, who grew up in Portlands, Mitchells Plain, is currently taking part in the Pro-Tour Championships in the UK.

After proving to be a tough competitor in family tournaments against his uncles and cousins, he joined the West Point Darts Club in Mitchells Plain at 18. His flair for the sport saw him quickly rising through the provincial and national ranks.

But while he is sitting pretty among the top darts players in the world, it’s his moves that have audiences talking.

The financial planner tells News24 he inherited both his darts skill and dance moves from his father George, who he describes as “quite a mover and shaker”.

“None of my friends would dare challenge me to a dance-off,” he joked.

A modest George, however, insists good genes from both parents resulted in his smooth moves.

His signature song, Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) by Shakira, has spectators on their feet as he walks onto the stage with a few rather unique moves.

“I tried to change my intro a few times as I am a fan of Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk as well as Pharell Williams and Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines. But the crowd wanted Waka Waka so I had to comply,” he said.

Devon may not be a celebrity in his home country, but he is regularly stopped by fans for autographs and selfies in the UK.

His proud father says his son's achievements have surpassed the expectations he had when Devon first showed an interest in the sport.

"His mother didn't even want him to take part because darts was considered a dronklap [drunkard's] sport," he laughs.

While Devon now lives in Edgemead, he spends much time in Europe owing to his darts commitments.

“Darts isn't as popular in SA as it is in UK, but with more televised events and media coverage we could surely get there,” he reckons.  

Although it is widely considered more of a past time than a sport, practice and commitment are needed to become a professional, he advises.

Devon spends three to four hours every day practicing his throws as he prepares for the World Cup of Darts, which takes place in Frankfurt, Germany, next month.

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