UK’s Strictly Come Dancing
Season 13 of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing has finally hit our TV screens, and local fans can watch South African dancer Otlile Mabuse in action.
Mabuse is one of 15 professional dancers putting celebrity contestants through their paces and hoping that their partner will become Britain’s new dance champion.
Pretoria-born Mabuse (25) was spotted by Strictly producers after competing in the German version of the show, called Let’s Dance, which is flighted by German broadcaster RTL.
“You almost have to compete in different competitions in order to gain a good reputation on the dance floor,” she told City Press.
This is Mabuse’s first season on the British show.
“After I finished the season of Let’s Dance, I was spotted by BBC Worldwide, and that’s how I made it on to the show.”
With more than 12 million weekly viewers, Mabuse describes being part of the cast as an “amazing experience”, where “the viewers get so involved and, ultimately, they are the ones who help you get the votes and win the competition”.
Mabuse was paired with Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo, who got off to a good start as they lit up the dance floor with the jive, scoring 19 points on their first night.
Mabuse, who has been dancing all her life, studied civil engineering at the Tshwane University of Technology.
“I started dancing at the age of four. My mother and two sisters are both dancers, so they inspired me to really follow my passion. My mother had a dance school and trained my two sisters. That’s where I also started training as a dancer. I learnt from my sister,” she said.
Mabuse is an eight-time winner of the Latin dancing championships in South Africa. She has also won an array of titles, including as World European Latin semifinalist, and she was a World Cup Championship semifinalist.
“My sister has always pushed me to become the best dancer I can be, and they say I have improved. There’s nothing more comforting than when my mother and sisters both tell me that I’ve done well, and that they are proud of me for making my dancing career work in a different country.”
After she finished the UK show, Mabuse took part in Strictly’s Christmas Special, where she got a total score of 40 points for her charleston.
She hopes to continue dancing on the new season of Let’s Dance on RTL. Catch Strictly Come Dancing on Sundays
on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174)
DO THE BOOGIE Professional dancer Otlile Mabuse on Strictly Come Dancing