Bloem teen on the world stage

Maruping Dilape will represent South Africa in Sweden and the UK later this year. Photo: Gypseenia Lion

What does it take to dance on the world stage? A teen dance champion, who danced his way to the world championships in London, sat down with Bloemfontein Courant to share his journey in the world of dance…

Seventeen-year-old Maruping Dilape says the support he got from locals when he took on the international stage boosted his confidence. He recalls when he walked on stage to perform an introductory dance move. South Africans who live in London came out in their numbers to cheer him on at the 2022 World Championship Competition in Freestyle and Slow Dancing. “I could hear them from where I was standing,” he recounts.

Maruping believes that there is more to dance than just performing on a stage. It is about the work that happens long after the music stops and the curtains close. This is most important when representing your country. “You may be skilled but if you are not friendly with your community or with the people you socialize with on social media then I don’t think you will get much support. It just comes down to what you give back to the community and how you treat your community and your social media friends.”

Photo: Gypseenia Lion

His mother, Elma Dilape, reiterates the notion that sacrifices and discipline are part of it. “There was a struggle; we tried for sponsors and you don’t always get them. You will see your child go, and you will stay behind. As a mother, you want to go with and be there for emotional support but I would rather let him go and stay behind,” says Elma.

Maruping started dancing at nine when his mother enrolled him at a dance school. “When I formally started dance classes in Grade 3, I did one term and I told my mom that I don’t want to go back because it was splits and kicks and that was not my style at the time,” he says.

Quitting was not an option, as his mother had already paid his fees for the year.

“I went back and I eventually fell in love with it… When you are on stage you don’t feel anything at all. I think it’s just the adrenaline. You just want to keep going.”

Maruping will represent South Africa in Sweden and the United Kingdom later this year.

Sponsors are welcome to assist Maruping in realising his dream of becoming a professional international dancer. Contact Elma at 082 673 1696 for more information.

Gypseenia Lion