The Star Early Edition - - LIFESTYLE VERVE -

HOOSE a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” says Confucius. We’ve all heard this say­ing and strive to gen­er­ate an in­come from do­ing some­thing we are truly pas­sion­ate about.

One such per­son is chore­og­ra­pher and So You Think You Can Dance: SA judge Didi Moses.

Moses, who started danc­ing when she was six, con­sid­ers her­self a dance freak first and fore­most but known to every­one as a chore­og­ra­pher.

She runs a dancer’s agency called Love. Dance Agency where she takes trained dancers who have grad­u­ated and who want to em­bark on a pro­fes­sional ca­reer in danc­ing.

“I groom them for the in­dus­try and en­sure they are able to book great lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional on-cam­era work and get paid what they are worth” says Moses who is now chore­ograph­ing her 70th TV com­mer­cial.

Moses has taken her love for dance one grand jeté (bal­let term for jump) fur­ther by com­bin­ing it with her other love, fash­ion, and cre­at­ing her own multi-func­tional cloth­ing col­lec­tion called LeoTart.

LeoTart is a play on the word ‘leo­tard’, the first dance gar­ment my mom bought me as a lit­tle girl. The range is an ode to my life as a lit­tle dancer, grow­ing into the woman I am now.”

And as her by­line states… “be­cause there’s a tart in all of us and we have noth­ing to be ashamed of,” Moses said.

In 2016 Moses com­pleted a PSA (pub­lic ser­vice an­nounce­ment) for the UN Chil­dren’s Fund (Unicef) which was shot in three coun­tries; In­dia, London and South Africa.

“It’s a gen­der equal­ity cam­paign for which I chore­ographed the South African part, to the pop­u­lar 1996 Spice Girls hit song, Wannabe.

“It is on over 58 mil­lion views on Victoria Beck­ham’s Face­book page and about 2 mil­lion views on YouTube.

“This made me de­cide to com­plete one of the projects I’ve al­ways wanted to do, that I had shelved over the years, which co­in­ci­den­tally re­lates to women em­pow­er­ment,” Moses said.

It was while she was or­gan­is­ing the photo shoot for her LeoTart range that she re­alised how many women have body is­sues.

“The mod­els I used for the shoot came in all shapes and sizes and all walks of life yet they all had one thing in com­mon; body is­sues.”

This is an is­sue she feels stems from body sham­ing within the me­dia.

“I wanted to cre­ate gar­ments that were sexy and that women of all shapes, could feel and look good in. With this range I feel like I killed two birds with one stone” Moses said.

Each piece from the col­lec­tion is named after each of the mod­els she used for the shoot.

“Ini­tially I wanted to ded­i­cate each piece to a fe­male dancer I had worked with in the past. I ap­proached a few of my dancers, friends, celebrity friends and a few oth­ers who I thought would show­case the gar­ments, the way I wanted other women to see them. Once I knew who my mod­els were, I made a few changes to cer­tain de­signs, be­cause it suited that woman’s per­son­al­ity more, so in essence, they played a role in what the de­signs look like now. I named ev­ery piece after the women, be­cause es­sen­tially this whole range is a cel­e­bra­tion of the fe­male form, be­ing proud of their curves and to em­brace who they are”.

One of these women is 18-yearold Ruth Pe­dro. Moses met Pe­dro while vol­un­teer­ing at Ons Plek, a child and youth care cen­tre in Cape Town that spe­cialises in de­vel­op­men­tal and ther­a­peu­tic in­take ser­vices for girls who have lived, worked or begged on the streets where she teaches dance classes as well as do­ing their makeup for their grad­u­a­tion cer­e­monies.

“The first time I walked into the space, I was over­whelmed with how lit­tle they had. We might think we know from what we see on the streets, but we don’t re­alise how bad it re­ally is” says Moses.

“It was in­spir­ing to see how Ruth trans­formed after hav­ing her makeup done for the photo shoot. She be­came this con­fi­dent su­per­model, blended in with the rest of the girls on the day. Sipped cham­pagne with us, danced, laughed and had a fun time. I felt in awe of her, know­ing what she must have gone through in her life.

She aban­doned when she was seven and lived at Ons Plek for 11 years. When the girls turn 18 they have to leave the home. I hope to help her from here for­ward. She is a lit­tle star.”

Moses de­signed each piece her­self draw­ing in­spi­ra­tion from her favourite style icons and fash­ion gar­ments.

“A dress is one piece of cloth­ing and has it’s lim­i­ta­tions but a body­suit can be worn in so many dif­fer­ent ways and it is for­giv­ing. It sucks in all the bits in all the right places.”

The leo­tards can be worn as ac­tive wear, swimwear and as a body­suit. As a body­suit is can be styled in var­i­ous ways. It can be worn ca­su­ally by pair­ing it with a high-waisted jeans or gypsy skirt and dressed up with for­mal trousers and worn un­der a shirt.

The LeoTart col­lec­tion in­cludes tulle skirts in three dif­fer­ent lengths (Knee-length, mid-calf and floor­length. Each skirt has four lay­ers of ruched tulle and a soft fab­ric lin­ing.

“I am adding a few more de­signs to the leo­tards work­ing with stretch vel­vet range in dif­fer­ent colours.”

LeoTart col­lec­tion range de­signer Didi Moses, back cen­tre, with some of the mod­els she is train­ing at her Love. Dance agency.

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