It was the excitement of seeing people making music with their feet that made Khwezi Ntsele, 16, fall in love with tap dancing.
Seven years on and that love has grown into a full-blown relationship that has taken Khwezi onto the international stage.
“Initially, I was a part of a dance studio that had tap dancing, but I was not doing it. I loved how the dancers made amazing sounds with their feet. The music was great and the rhythm was fascinating. Two years later I decided to join and I have loved it even more every day,” she told us on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Cup Dance Championship in Sun City, North West.
Being a newbie in tap dancing was never a challenge for Khwezi who said it felt as if she had always been into the genre.
“I never had any challenges when I decided to join. I remember it was almost like second nature to me. I had normal difficulties but with more practice I managed to get it all right,” she adds.
In her seven short years as a tap dancer, Khwezi has graced international stages in Germany, Slovakia and Australia.
Locally she has participated at the Mondeor Open Dance Festival and Stars of Tomorrow Dance Show. Her most memorable competition was in 2015 at the International Dance Organisation (IDO) in Germany.
“The IDO competition was a tough one because we were competing against international studios that are more advanced. But we managed to get 15th place out of more than 250 participants, which is a major achievement,” she said.
“It was eye opening to see what other countries are doing in terms of tap dancing. I learnt a lot from the competition because some studios are more advanced. Most of the dance studios have adapted, as opposed to us. The competition made me feel like South African dancing is still basic because our styles differ a lot.”
She said her aim was to learn as much about her craft as possible and that included being a part of the Matthew Clark workshops held in Sun City near Rustenburg.
She described the experience as inspirational and a learning curve.
“I have been performing for seven years and realised when I performed I’m always nervous and that ruins my whole performance. Now I know that I should deal with the nerves to give a killer dance. Through this workshop with Matthew I will improve and gain my international recognition,’’ she added.
Born in Mulbarton, south of Johannesburg, Khwezi said she would love to compete and further her tap dancing skills internationally. And her big dream is to one day open her own dance studio.
– African News Agency (ANA)