South African dance duo capture prestigious global title
South African dancers, Kalon Badenhorst and Micaela Todd, won the International Dance Organisation (IDO) Gala World title for 2016 in Graz, Austria at the weekend.
Badenhorst (19) and Todd (16), the 2015 Adult Duo Showdance World Champions, performed ‘The Proposal’, a modern contemporary piece, choreographed by fellow South African, Hope Maimane, and beat 10 other top international dance acts to claim the coveted title.
The IDO is a World Dance- and Dancesport Federation with a membership of over 90 nations representing more than 250 000 dancers from six continents. The Gala World contest was established by the IDO in 2015 to pit world champions in various dance styles against each other in a ‘best of the best’ event, in the process putting on a display of exceptional dance talent from around the world.
Badenhorst and Todd were up against solo, duo, group and formation dance acts, all winners of their respective IDO World Championships in 2015. The contest is considered the most prestigious contest of the year by the IDO and offers trophies and prize money to the top three performances. It is the only IDO competition that offers prize money.
Each act performed once on the large stage at the Graz City Hal on Saturday night, after which the five international judges selected their top three, which were required to perform again to determine the first, second and third places.
Badenhorst and Todd made the top three and had to ‘dance off’ against Germany’s double world-title winning D.Q. Dance Squad (Disco Formation) and Italy’s Emanuele and Leonardo d’ Angelo (Tap Duo), seven-time Tap world champions. The South African teenagers were declared the winners ahead of the D’ Angelo brothers, with D.Q. Dance Squad taking third.
“It was an honour to be invited to compete at the IDO Gala World event. Micaela and I won our Showdance world title with ‘The Proposal’ 11 months ago. Since then, I have been in London and Cologne, pursuing a career as a performer, so we never actually got to rehearse much. But we do connect well and Hope, our choreographer; and Wendy and Fayme, our trainers, made sure we were as well prepared as possible. It turned out great in the end,” said Badenhorst.
“When we won the IDO Showdance Duo World Champs in Germany last year, we were over the moon. This time around at the Gala World Event, we were dancing against soloists and groups and even different dance genres. So to win this competition, which is described as ‘the best of the best’, was even more satisfying. This success gives both Kalon and I international exposure and at a time when we are both looking to dance on the world stage. The timing couldn’t be better,” said an elated Todd.
“Kalon and Micaela only had two days together to rehearse the new, extended version of this choreography. The first version was two minutes long and the new version is four minutes long, as per the requirements of the IDO Gala World Event,” explained Maimane.
“While in South Africa, I taught the new version to Micaela then sent rehearsal videos to Kalon (in Germany) so that he could become familiar with the new stuff. Then, when they finally were together in Austria, they would send me rehearsal videos and I would give them notes via FaceTime, as I’m now in South Africa. I’m beyond proud of them. They are so hard-working and ambitious and they left their souls on that stage,” smiled Maimane.
Badenhorst and Todd have won multiple junior and senior world titles in a variety of dance styles over the past few years. Badenhorst completed his schooling last year in Randburg and is currently performing in the musical, The Bodyguard, in Cologne, while Todd is completing her schooling in Centurion and plans to move abroad next year to pursue a career as a performer.