Ask and you’ll receive
06 August 2012 | SIBUSISO MKWANAZI
Many fans at the the recent performances of Burn The Floor at the Joburg Theatre have subtly let on that they consider the only South African cast member of the international dance show, Keoikantse Motsepe, rather a catch. But Motsepe says that it takes more than good looks to make it into such an energetic production.
“Trust you me, we work for our money,” he laughs, adding that the show’s opening night was so exhilarating that his partner needed more sleeping time than usual.
“Our audiences only see the final product of perfectly polished moves, beautifully toned bodies and inspiring music. Being a professional dancer is much more than that.
“For example, as soon as my partner is up, we will be rehearsing for hours on end, perfecting sequences and tweaking some aspects of the show. Another part of doing what we do is that we are away from home a lot, and that takes its toll on us,” he says.
How did he become the only South African member of the dance company, and do his origins come through in his performances?
“I saw the show when it was in South Africa last time and I was blown away by their technique and just how incredible all the dancers were,” Motsepe says.
“Something inside of me told me to approach the producers and I requested an audition. I did my thing and they were excited by what I could do.
“Burn The Floor [the company] encourages us to bring flair into our standard routines, which is what makes the shows so engrossing. So, without being over the top and when the timing is right, I do add a bit of my own style to what I do.”
Motsepe is tall, with an upper body to rival Olympic swimmers.
“I grew up in Mabopane, Pre-toria, and from a very young age, I used to play soccer,” he says.
“I must have been seven when my mates let me know that the sport was just not meant for me. I should have known as I enjoyed dancing on the pitch after a goal was scored than I did playing!
“I enrolled at a dance studio and was reluctant at first because I was met by boys in extremely tight pants. But after I tried mine on, it turned out that those boys were just overweight,” he laughs.
Motsepe had so much fun dancing that he knew that he had found his calling.
“At the age of eight, I told my parents I wanted to be a dancer, and of course, they thought I was like any other child who would change their mind about what I wanted to be,” he says.
Fortunately, they were wrong.
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