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Dance International
Written by: Joanne Badenhorst

South African dancers have won four titles at the 2013 Freestyle Dance World Championships held in Blackpool, England.

The five-member squad returned from the global showpiece on Wednesday as the most successful South African team to compete at the Freestyle World Championships, which have been held in Blackpool, since the early 1980s.

2013 Freestyle World Championships South African team: Kalon Badenhorst, Courtney Minnaar, Tatijana Ignaitov, Vesna Ignaitov, Nicole Haddon.

Kalon Badenhorst of Randburg claimed four world titles, becoming the only dancer in the history of the Freestyle Dance World Championships to achieve this feat in a single championship. The 15-year-old learner from Curro Aurora secured wins in the Under-16 Championship Boys Street Style, Freestyle and Slowdance solo categories.

Badenhorst also partnered with 13-year-old Courtney Minnaar, a learner at Marigon School, Roodepoort, to secure the Under-16 Freestyle Couples world title. Badenhorst is a member of the Daniel Swanepoel Dance Studio in Randburg and Minnaar a member of Dance Zone International in Bryanston.

Dancing solo in the Under-14 Girls Premier Champ Division, Minnaar reached finals in the both Freestyle and Slowdance, placing sixth and fourth respectively.

Another South African team member to achieve a podium placing was Tatijana Ignaijtov, who placed second in the Under-8 Girls Premier Champ Division in the Freestyle discipline. The Bishop Bavin learner from Bedfordview, who is a member of Diana Moore Dance World, also reached the final in the Slowdance, but had to withdraw due to illness.

Image left: Kalon Badenhorst won four titles at the 2013 Freestyle Dance World Championships in Blackpool, England. He is the only dancer in the history of the genre to achieve four world titles in a single world championship competition.

Image right: Kalon Badenhorst (left) and Courtney Minnaar (right) won the 2013 Under-16 Freestyle Couples world title. With them is International Dance Teachers Association member and competition judge, Stephen Reece-Buck.

Freestyle is an evolved version of Disco dance, and has developed sub-categories in which dancers compete solo, in couples and groups. It involves runs, spins, kicks and leaps as well as many other diverse steps and acrobatic movements.

The Freestyle World Championships is organised by Anna Jones, who is the president of the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA). The IDTA is one of the worlds largest examination boards, covering the full spectrum of dance examinations on a global scale, with over 7 000 members in 55 countries.


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