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Quartet follow the eastern beat

Mark Etheridge

Four South African dancers will this month be going where the music takes them — in this case the 2009 World Games in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.

The quartet (in actual fact, two couples) will represent their country at the Games as one of 10 sports with South African participation.

Strutting their stuff will be Keohantse Motsepe and Otile Mabuse in the Latin-American category while Clinton Soules and Meagan Kleinhans will dance in the ballroom division.

Youngsters Motsepe and Babuse are both varsity students in Tshwane while the ballroom dancers are Cape Town based, with Soules in the police force and Kleinhans in the IT business.

The dancers will be accompanied by team official Chris Bulpitt and national coach Rafiek Hoosain. Hoosain coaches the Latin-American component of the SA team while the Capetonians are coached by Bernard Johnson.

Both couples, whose stringent training regimen over the last four months has been made that much easier by sponsorship from SASCOC, face a busy next weekend as they have a team championship in Cape Town and then jet off to Johannesburg for the SA team’s holding camp the next day.

Couples train for hours each day but as Bulpitt puts it, it’s not just about the training. “Training is all very well but while you’re dancing you need to have an independent eye, someone who can take in what’s going on and make the adjustments.”

Explaining the format of dance competitions, Bulpitt says that couples will generally dance for a minute and half during the elimination rounds (which could mean as many as five rounds) then the final would involve a minute of solo dancing and then together.

The SA dance sport squad for the World Games: Keohantse Motsepe, Otile Mabuse, Clinton Soules and Meagan Kleinhans


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