Beginner waltzes to top spot

Leonie Wagner

WINNING gold was the furthest thing from Nomtha Witbooi’s mind when the NMMU student started dancing earlier this year.

However, not only did she compete in an intervarsity competition in Port Elizabeth at the weekend, she also took home not one, but two gold medals.

The annual intervarsity Student National Championship was hosted by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

Witbooi, 20, a second-year journalism student, placed first in the beginner ballroom and Latin American sections.

“I only started dancing in February. It [dancing for the first time] was overwhelming but great at the same time,” she said.

The competition saw 246 dancers from five universities – the University of Cape Town (UCT), Stellenbosch, Pretoria, Rhodes and NMMU – perform for a panel of 10 judges at the Missionvale campus indoor sports centre.

Dance styles included ballroom, Latin American, boogie, sokkie, mambo and the regal Viennese waltz.

NMMU’s 24 couples ranked third in the overall competition while UCT walked away as the overall winner, with Stellenbosch coming in second place, Rhodes in fourth and Pretoria in fifth.

NMMU dance coach Miranda Botha said: “For a small group of dancers they did themselves proud, I’m very proud of them.”

The categories included beginner, intermediate, advanced, team dancing and formation.

NMMU Ballroom and Latin American Dancing Society chairman Francois de Kock said: “I’m very proud of our team and everyone who competed, especially because we had quite a few beginners. The dancers worked really hard to make us proud.”

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