Keoikantse Motsepe in Burn the Floor
Burn the Floor, the hit dance show with a winning international cast – literally: they’ve racked up over a hundred dance titles among them – is showing in Johannesburg until 19 August 2012. We loved it so much and were so entertained by local boy Keoikantse Motsepe (hot damn, he looks good on stage) that we decided to grab him for an interview about dancing, the show and the personal stuff.
KEOIKANTSE MOTSEPE, 22 SOUTH AFRICAN LATIN DANCE CHAMPION: EIGHT YEARS
‘I’ve wanted to dance since I was five years old. I used to watch dance on TV, and my friend suggested I go to classes. By the age of seven I told my parents I want to do this for the rest of my life. My mom was shocked but said it was ok – but I think that’s because I was young and she thought I’d get over it. Other people feel like dancing makes you gay. My older sister thought I was gay, but dancing really disciplines you. My dad always wanted to me to play soccer, but I had two left feet for soccer! That never stopped me and now they are very supportive.
‘I first heard about Burn the Floor when I was busy preparing for Nationals last year. My teacher said I have to watch this show, and I was frustrated because that’s two hours out of the day when I could be practicing. But when the curtain went up I was like “wow”. One of my dreams is to open a show like that. After I watched it, I knew that this was it, and I decided to audition. I asked my partner if she wanted to join; we’ve been dancing together since I was eleven so she’s kind of like my wife. The hardest part of this was saying good-bye to her.
‘After I heard that I got it, we started by training and performing in the USA, then moved on to China and Australia and then from here, Singapore, Korea and Japan. Australia was my favourite; it reminded me of South Africa culturally. It had big crowds, and great theatres. I haven’t been to Australia before, and it was an amazing experience.
‘The show is completely amazing, and I love the costumes, some of the numbers I’d even wear going out. Between the numbers the outfits changes can be very quickly, especially for the girls. My favourite number is Ballroom Blitz, the opening act, though I prefer the slower pieces. I’m more of a romantic guy. I need to put all of my emotions in those numbers. I’m very chilled and down to earth. Ballroom Blitz was choreographed in 2 days, and took 5 hours a day to learn. We rehearse every day and are emailed corrections after every. I love working with [choreographer] Jason Gilkison! Sometimes I ask if this really happening or am I dreaming?
‘As for my future, I believe that you have to follow your dreams. Your love for it can be anything as long as you’re 100% committed.’