Real deal township dance troupe

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Choreographer and leader of community-based dance troupe Showstopaz gets excited when he talks about this Mohlakeng-based group.

He should be because this West Rand-based group is going places.

The group was established in 2005, not only to give the youngsters from Mohlakeng a chance, but also to represent the economically depressed township in the cut-throat world of dance.

"Our dance is defined and perfected around what we were used to when we were growing up, the township dance called isboujwa.

"We are currently doing SABC road shows, the Harmony Mining Heart Beat Road shows and other opportunities that have come our way," Monde Pellem says.

Showstopaz also make their services available to bands, and Pellem says the troupe has been hired by a number of groups to spice up their shows.

"We have performed for groups like Skwatta Kamp, and the crowd has been taken by our dance skills as they find us unique in that we stick to really township dance, the real deal," he says.

"When we started the group we wanted to try new elements in dance, and not copy any style which is already done by other groups."

And it appears that their legs will take them far in this game - they have performed as far as Bloemfontein, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Last year the troupe entertained guests at the launch of Somizi Mhlongo's album.

Pellem adds that in dance there are certain requirements to build a strong and successful dance company, as the field is quite competitive.

"To succeed one needs to have image, style, professionalism and discipline among the group members. This is necessary to get new customers, as well as maintain the bold customers," he adds.