Entertainment

Nandipha Pantsi
3 minute read
17 Sep 2014
10:00 am

Strictly Come Dancing: crowning the king and queen

Nandipha Pantsi

Leandie du Randt remembers the first dance of her life as if it were yesterday.

HOPPING. Singer LeAnne Dlamini and Johannes Radebe have worked hard to stay in the competition.

She was just two years old. Her mother was cheering her on behind a home video camera and the best she could do was sway from one side to the other.

“I don’t think that really qualifies as dancing,” she says with a laugh. “But it was my first attempt.”

As a finalist in the seventh season of Strictly Come Dancing SA, Du Randt has proven she can do a whole lot more than sway her hips. In fact, the actress and her dance partner, Brandon Eilers Le Riche, have been one of the strongest couples in the competition, receiving some of the highest scores in the history of the competition.

SWIFT SWIRLS. Jonathan Boynton Lee has suffered many injuries while rehearsing but still managed to make it to the finals.

SWIFT SWIRLS. Jonathan Boynton Lee has suffered many injuries while rehearsing but still managed to make it to the finals.

“Everything I was able to do on the Strictly Come Dancing stage has been because of Brandon. I’m very lucky to have been paired with a dance partner who is very much like me. Both of us have very loud and eccentric personalities. He understands me and knows how to handle me.”

Du Randt had many people worried when she suffered from a nervous breakdown last week.

“I was physically and emotionally exhausted. I couldn’t stop crying during the rehearsals. It was the worst week of the competition for me and I was a complete wreck. But as always, Brandon managed to get me through it.”

When the couple came back to the dance floor the following week they received full points from all the judges.

“The Paso Doble is our victory dance,” she says with a laugh. “This is why we’ve chosen to perform it again as our favourite dance of the competition.”

ENTERTAINERS. Leandie du Randt and her dance partner Brandon Eilers Le Riche are very expressive on the dance floor. Picture: Supplied

ENTERTAINERS. Leandie du Randt and her dance partner Brandon Eilers Le Riche are very expressive on the dance floor. Picture: Supplied

Apart from Du Randt’s ability to master ballroom dancing in just a few weeks, the couple have been praised for being able to entertain the audience with their exuberant facial expressions.

“Brandon and I are both performers more than anything else. It also helps that we don’t take ourselves too seriously, so we’re not worried about what people will think. It also comes naturally for me, because I am an actress. Every time I get on to the dance floor, I pretend to be a character in a movie and I do my best to play that role. It makes it easy to let go of all inhibitions.”

Despite being a successful actress and the author of How To Be Comfortable In Your Own Skin, Du Randt says winning Strictly Come Dancing would be her biggest achievement. But most significantly for Du Randt, winning the competition would be the best gift she could give to her dance partner. “Brandon has been on the show for many years, and this is the first time he has made it into the finals. So it would be amazing for both of us if we won.”

Info:

>  The two-hour fi nale of Strictly Come Dancing SA will be broadcast on SABC 3 on Friday at 8pm.

> Visit the Strictly Come Dancing SA website to vote for your favorite dance couple.