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.