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Perfect stage for dancers

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FINE ART— M-Dub Crew won season three

For a long time the country has not given much attention to the art of dancing like it is in other countries.

The African continent is known for its rich artistry in dance and this has been observed during various events where men and women showcase their dance moves.

Dance is an art that some have described as inborn whereas for others, it is a talent that they have built through practice.

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For those of you who have watched American reality television dance competition show – So You Think You Can Dance, then you will appreciate that dance is not an ordinary art, it is an art that is demanding and this is why winners have gone on to impress in different routines.

The show features a format where dancers trained in a variety of dance genres enter open auditions held in a number of major United States of America cities to showcase their talents and move forward through successive additional rounds of auditions to test their ability to adapt to different styles.

At the end of the process, a small number of dancers are chosen as finalists.

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The beauty of this competition is that dancers move on to the competition’s main phase where they perform solo, duet and group dance numbers on live television and in their various routines, they master a diverse selection of dance styles including classical , contemporary, ballroom, hip hop, street, club, jazz and musical theatre.

Most of the contestants who participate in the competition have undergone dance training in different dance schools but it is a different story when you come down to Malawi – where dance is just taken as a hobby.

It is after noticing such a gap that Times Group through Times Television decided to create a dance stage to unearth dance talent and also at the same time show that dance is a career worth pursuing.

Known as Ka Jive, the dance competition similar to So You Think You Can Dance, has over the past three seasons showed that the country has massive talent.

In its first season which used to take place at Nanzikambe in Naperi, Blantyre, people experienced the best of dance moves from a lot of groups, some of which have gone on to excel by spicing up corporate events.

Contemporary dancers Joshua Bhima and Robert Magasa, who have been dancing for over 12 years and have played a part in training some of the participants in the competition, said recently that dance needed to be given the respect it deserves including introducing it in schools from the grassroots level.

“It’s good to see to it that there are companies such as Times Group who have come out with a dance competition. Dance is an interesting art and it needs to be taken seriously,” Magasa said.

Through the competition, the country has seen groups such as Salama Africa Dance Crew, M-Dub, Metics Street Dance Crew and Floor Steppers standing out.

These groups have gone on to work with different musicians breathing in dance in music videos and other projects that have called for art of dance in it.

Ka Jive has returned and will be launched on September 5 2020 at Times Group’s Entertainment Studio with live auditions.

“We have received an overwhelming response since we started calling for participants for season four. We have so many twists and turns in the competition and come during the day of the launch, people are in for a good treat,” Times Group Commercial Manager Lusayo Msukwa, said.

He said they have received more than 100 applications and that from the entries, they will trim the number.

“After the auditions, some groups will qualify to the next round. We will move in phases but the main aim of having this competition is to unearth talent and also give a chance to dancers to showcase their talent,” Msukwa said.

He said having impressed with the previous seasons, they were reeling to do much better. The previous season won by M-Dub, Times Group partnered players such as Airtel Malawi.

“We want to make another statement with the competition but for it to be a success, we need more support,” Msukwa said.

He could not be drawn to disclose how much is at stake for the winner this time around saying people should watch the space.

“We do not want to pre-empt everything now. For now, all we are saying is that Ka Jive Dance competition is here, bigger and better and we are looking forward to experience the dance moves once again,” Msukwa said.

And true to Msukwa, the previous seasons has seen participants being creative by fusing in different dance moves including those well-known when dancing some of the country’s traditional dances such as Beni and Malipenga.

“We are living in a modern world where we have seen the youth being very creative and this is what we expect to see during season four. Through this competition, we are not only giving dancers a platform but we are also promoting culture,” Msukwa said.

The previous seasons has also seen participants being given challenges to partake in different dance genres.

The other seasons has seen winners walk away with K1 million, what will be this season’s package, viewers just need to watch the space and follow the competition for there is more on the ground.

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