Ballroom Dancers: Oti Mabuse and Alex Hixson
Picking the right partner, hair colour and dealing with the competition: an inside view on ballroom dancing
Get your dancing shoes on because this week Kim Chakanetsa brings together two supremely talented ballroom dancers who between them have a pile of trophies. We talk about the glamour, romance, athleticism and also the rivalries, injuries and tears that go on behind the scenes.
South African dancer Oti Mabuse has been Latin American dance champion in South Africa eight times and she is currently gracing UK screens as a professional dancer on the popular reality TV show Strictly Come Dancing. When she started ballroom dancing was a very divided activity, "We were the only black family doing Latin and ballroom, I was young, I was four and cute, but for my sisters it was extremely difficult." More recently, things have changed, she says "It's not about where you come from or what you look like, it's about what you do and what you deliver."
Alex Hixson is from the UK and has been a World Champion bronze medallist and an International Professional Rising Star Champion. Her favourite dance is the foxtrot. Alex started dancing aged 6, "before 'Strictly', so before ballroom dancing was cool. I saw a poster and told my mum that I want to do ballroom and Latin dancing and she said why? That's what old people do."
(L) Photo: Oti Mabuse. Credit: BBC.
(R) Alex Hixson. Credit: Nick Redman, London Photos.