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Dance International
Written by: Mzansi Productions
06/05/2010

Mzansi Productions dancer Kitty Phetla is one of the most recognizable personalities on the South African stage, a tall, strikingly beautiful dancer quite unlike any other. In a profession where uniformity is often the norm, Kitty Phetla is unique. And current nationwide exposure in a television commercial for First National Bank has extended her recognisability to celebrity status.

But what of the woman behind the dancer and beyond the advertising commercials, and how does she see her future unfolding? Now is my future. I live for the here and now, one moment at a time, with a smile and with discipline.

Beyond this philosophy, Kitty makes a very real and practical contribution to the future as a teacher and role model, her embrace spanning generations and styles, from kids in outreach programmes who claim her as our Kitty to more mature women with little or no previous dance experience. My classes for older women are specially designed to make women in the community feel good about themselves, she says.

At a more conventional level Kitty teaches contemporary dance and ballet classes with a versatility that reflects her own training as well as the range of demands made on her as a dancer with Mzansi Productions.

As someone closely involved with SA dance, how does Kitty Phetla see the future of her profession in this country? Were weaker now in European contemporary and classical dance and we have a long way to go to catch up again. But in African contemporary and fusion techniques were developing strongly.

Does Kitty herself have a favourite dancer? No, not right now, but I do have a favourite dance company and that is the Nederlands Dans Theater.

Other Kitty Phetla favourites are actors Robert de Niro, Anthony Hopkins and Sean Connery; her favourite movie is The Holiday; her favourite music is soul, Cuban and Brazilian lounge; her favourite food is pasta and Norwegian salmon; and she has a dog named Bubbles.

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