UK’s Strictly Come Danc­ing

CityPress - - Front Page - PALESA MOREI palesa.morei@city­

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

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