Stepping it up for SA

Ayakha Khwapuna Mgqibi (middle) and Elmor Goliath (left) with their coach Thandisizwe Matyumza were crowned as the ballroom champions at the 5th Open Queens Cup Dance Sport Championship in Maseru, Lesotho recently.
Picture:SUPPLIED

EL dancers crowned champions

East London resident Open Queens Cup Dance Sport Championship, not only flew East London’s flag high, but also the flew the country’s flag high when she and her partner, Elmor Goliath, were after being crowned at as the ballroom dancing champions at the fifth 5th Open Queens Cup Dance Sport Championship in Maseru, Lesotho recently.

The competition was contested by participants from participated by contestants five countries: Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, South Africa and Mozambique.
Khwapuna Mgqibi and her partner, Goliath, were the only South African contestants.

“Winning a championship on such a big scale is always filled with emotions of excitement and a sense of self-fulfillment. Winning the fifth Open Queens Cup Dance Sport Championship was equally exciting. Representing South Africa was a great honour,”, she said.

“We won the championship in the ballroom genre. Although Though I have never participated on in other dance genres in championships, with other dance genres, I am also an avid Latin dancer.”

She added she has been dancing for the past seven years.

“I am not inspired by any particular figure or personality. I am a firm believer that we are all motivated or demotivated by unique experiences that mould who we become. I do not want to sound clichéd, but I am inspired and driven by my ability to break boundaries, having to prove to myself that I can effortlessly compete in bigger dance championships.” with only one thing in mind.”

My inspiration in a nutshell– “go big or go home” – In a nutshell my inspiration is rooted in on the old adage that it is not your background that does not is not necessarily a determine of who you become, but the relentless commitment to break grounds against all odds,” she said.

Speaking to GO! Khwapuna Mgqibi, said Pparticipating in championships can, however, be costly given the preliminary work that is involved.

“These costs range from coaching services, dance gear, specialised lessons and demonstrations prior to the event. Additional costs are also incurred through personal subsistence and travelling.

“Donations from friends and colleagues have assisted a great deal in minimising the costs,” Khwapuna Mgqibi said.

Not only is she passionate about competing in dancing contests, but Khwapuna Mgqibi also takes is part in of a project to develop dance sport in disadvantaged communities.

“I have assisted in promoting the participation of disabled children in the Sarah Baartman District Championships that was held in Makhanda on August 10.

“In an attempt to further maximise participation from disadvantaged communities, I am currently in the a process of setting up a local dance academy pilot for children living in these disadvantaged communities.”

She said the concept seeks to unleash the raw dance talents from of poor girls and boys with an interest in dance sport in the surrounding villages and townships.

“I believe there’s more potential from children living in disadvantaged communities. In my view, they tend to be more driven than their privileged counterparts,” she enthused.

“I want to serve as bridge between them and opportunities provided by dance sport.”

Khwapuna Mgqibi indicated that she is currently preparing for the Botswana Dance Championships which that will take place in November 2019.

This will see the best of the best competing against each other in their various genres.

“I would also like to extend my utmost special gratitude to my family, coaches, colleagues and friends for their unwavering support,” she concluded.

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