EL duo shines at dance competition
TWO young East London dancers earned themselves first place wins at The South African Dance Teachers’ Association (SADTA) freestyle competition held in Pretoria recently.
Established in 1935, the SADTA is one of the most well-respected and oldest dance teachers’ associations in South Africa. With the aim and objective of promoting dancing in South Africa, the association hosts competitions and championships as a way of boosting dance in the country.
Stirling High School pupil Mariska Smit, 14, and Stirling Primary pupil Kayla-jade Whelan, 13, participated in the competition alongside approximately 200 other competitors.
The pair, the only ones from the Eastern Cape, walked away with first place for rock ’n roll and freestyle couples.
Individually, Smitwon first place in her freestyle solo and Whelanwon first place for both her slow dance and freestyle solo.
Members of the Nicky Swales Dance Studio in East London, both girls have been dancing since the ages of six and said that this has always been a passion for them.
“Dancing is my passion. It lets me be who I want to be,” said Smit
The competition welcomed various styles of dance, from freestyle to hip-hop, slow dance, hustle, rock ’ n roll, ballroom, Latin-american and disco.
The competition was tough for the two girls who were the only Eastern Cape contestants. Despite this, they still managed to shine through, excelling.
“It was very tough because there were a lot of really good dancers there. It was exciting but I felt nervous too. But I’ve learned that all you need to do is work very hard and not to be nervous, [and] have fun while dancing,” said Whelan.
Only recently paired as a dance duo, the two have worked well and showed that hard work, dedication and teamwork does pay off.
“I feel very privileged, I haven’t had very reliable partners in the past and Kayla-jade and I work well together as a team. We’ve come to understand each other and get along really well,” said Smit.
Smit’s mother, Charmaine, attended the competition in support of the two, saying she was achievements.
“They click so well together and work nicely together. They are perfect dancing partners and really have worked hard to get where they are. I’m proud of them both and glad to see that both of them are
their living out
Both dancers aspire to be dance teachers in the future and are hoping to raise enough funds to be able to attend dance training in Blackpool in the UK in June next year. — firstname.lastname@example.org