Dance Your Butt Off: Not Bad But Not Great Either

SABC 1 premiered it's new show, Dance Your Butt Off last week. After starting off to a bumpy start the show has proven to have some potential to grow like Class Act. 

The first episode was a total disaster with technical glitches all over the entire episode. I couldn't even watch the whole episode. This past Tuesday I found myself ditching Rhythm City to watch its second episode, not that I missed much since RC seems to be falling into the soapie trap of dragging storylines longer than they should be.

What I do not like about the show.

The show is a dancing show but the dancing is whack. The choreography leaves a lot to be desired and does not give the contestants room to be creative and let go. The idea to theme every dance routine may work with shows like SYTYCD but with Dance You Butt Off it fails dismally. 

What the producers of the show failed to look into was the fact that since their contestants are overweight it might be a bit problematic for them to adapt to all this dancing styles choreographers fuse in the dance routine.

Whoever chooses the music for the dance routines has no clue what he/she is doing. Most of the time the songs that the contestants have to dance do not suit the dance routines they are given to perform thus making them dance off beat all the time.

Don't you just hate it when presenters try to be funny when they are not really the most friendliest of people? Relebogile tries with all her might to be the jovial girl but fails dismally as her stern demeanor creeps through every time she fakes a laugh. 

I do not know her personally but watching the show I picked up something not genuine about her. She comes across as someone snooty trying to pass as 'girl next door' type. Who said presenters should be funny?

People like Somizi will get laughs not because they are comedians but simply because they can't hold their tongues. It comes naturally to them so the Relebogiles of this world should not even try to be funny if it's not in them to be funny.

What I like About The Show

The Concept

Though a bit skeptical about how they would pull it off for 13 episodes, I am impressed with the concept for the show. It is the spin-off of Oxygen channel in American called Dance Your Ass Off but in terms of variety in Mzansi tv, it's fresh and out of the box. Of course it's the execution and reaction of the audience that will determine whether the concept works or not but for the effort to bring new ideas in to the fold I applaud the show.

The Judges

When I first heard that Somizi, Khabonina and Dj Sbu will be judges on the show, I cringed. All three of them have big personalities and I thought they were going to try and upstage each other at every chance they get. I was totally wrong to think that. In fact from what I saw this week, the judges are the only thing that makes the show interesting.

Khabonina's vivacious personality and one-liners are hilarious. The girl clearly knows how to turn a line and make a point with some zest. I am loving this girl every time that I see her work. She exudes confidence without any arrogance and is very engaging. 

 She has that sister-girlfriend kinda thing going on and I have to say it works for her. On the show she is fun, firm and fabulous! When the contestants mess up, she says it without flinching and when the do good, she praises them and wraps it up by gooing one of those one-liners of hers. 

I chuckled at “more drama for your mama” comment she made during the show.

Somizi is definitely the star of the show. Well known for his shoot from the hip attitude, the Divo unknowingly steals the spotlight and it works splendidly. His comments are on point and honest. Hell even his deprecatory remarks are amusing and hit it on the mark. 

Quite often on shows like this one you find judges trying too hard to assume roles like The Good Cop and The Bad Cop. There is none of that on DYBT. I loved Somizi's comments about the music killing the contestant's routine. 

I loved when he said “you should not fail because of someone else's mistake...”. Dissing the people who hired you is a very bold thing to do (so typical of Somizi) and guarantees you respect not just from your employers but from the viewers as well. Keep up the honesty.

Somizi works for this show because he knows something about dancing. He may not be the best dancer/choreographer out there (contrary to what he thinks) but he is certainly well informed and has the experience to recognise when he sees one, not that these contestants have any dancing talent but you catch my drift. 

His over-the-top personality, unguarded tongue and experience makes him perfect for the show of this nature. If this week's comments from him are anything to go by then there are some fun moments to look forward to in the show.

Dj Sbu is just Dj Sbu. His comments are relevant but do not have any sparks. Nothing wrong with that as it balances the whole panel of opinions well.


The show is still on it's early days and hasn't really found its footing yet. The 18h30 slot is a highly contested one in SA television s it might be hard for the show to reel in viewers from the soapies at that time but the show has a potential to be the talk of town. Having fat people dance on national tv, you can't go wrong with that. The concept alone guarantees you lots of laughs.

Of all the new shows with the exception of Intesexion (that's on a league of its own), this could definitely be SABC 1's biggest hit. Pity the show is on a slot that may prove to be a tough hill to climb. If this show was put on the slot that So You Think You Can Dance held it might create some buzz. 

Majority of tv shows always start off at a slow pace and gain momentum as more people get familiar with it. Word of mouth is very important in this business and with that, one person telling their friend about a show could lead to its ratings soaring as that might have ripple effect.

For now the show will get a 6/10 for trying

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