Interesting Day At The Step Up Or Step Out Auditions In Jozi

New season of Step Up Or Step Out is in full production with new presenters and a new judge as reported. New season, yes but fresh talent ABSOLUTELY not, if the talent that showed up at the Joburg auditions on Saturday are anything to go by. 

I had the pleasure of spending my freedom day with the team of the show in Newtown yesterday for the first leg of the audition process and I have admit, I am a bit disappointed. 

While I unconditionally support our proudly South African styles of dance such as sPantsula and Sbujwa, I was bored out of my skull watching crew after crew taking the stage in front of the judges doing the same old thing over and over. 

To be fair I did not watch all the crews that auditioned for the show but judging by the crews I did see audition and on the queue outside, it was evident that majority of the attending crews were prepared to only do those dance styles. 

One would have thought that the history of the show and the careers of the previous participants on the show could have served as a motivation for new crews coming to up their game.

Let me break it down. 

The only working crew or rather a crew that seems to have built a viable career from the exposure of the show is season 2 finalists, Vintage. 

Season 1 winners, Stunners, had a bit of momentum after the show but if I am to be bluntly honest, their egos got in the way and they have since just withered away. Which is really sad because those boys had something special about them. Talent galore, innovative and current but annoyingly cocky. 

Vintage on the other hand has not gotten derailed by the lures of fame. They have stayed grounded and allowed their talent to fuel their trajectory to the top in this business.  

The other problem with Stunners is that they aligned themselves with individuals in the spotlight instead of just building their own brand and careers independent of anyone's fame. You cant build your career on somebody else's shine because when the spotlight dims on them you will be left in the cold, or when they decide to dump you, you won't have work. 

Thembisa Revolution surprisingly won the second season of the show. They too have not really made an indelible mark in the dance scene in Mzansi. Unfortunately, for them it is the case of not moving with the times. 

While we appreciate our township dance style but let's face it, we are not really crazy about sPantsula anymore. It sucks for them but if they are smart and have the right support I suppose they could have made it work. 

With that, one hoped that the new crews would have done their research and made a smart choice of making show that they can stand out and make their mark. Unfortunately all I saw at the auditions was ill-prepared crews and same ol' ish!

Note to the production team and Etv

I was not impressed with the fact that no-one at Endemol or SABC saw it important to inform people coming to auditions that the venue, Market Laboratory is not where we all know it be anymore due to constructions in Newtown Precinct. 

Anyone who is familiar with Newtown knows that Market Lab is opposite Market Theatre but due to constructions happening there they have had to temporarily move to the Bus Factory building which is on the other end of the Precinct. 

This is information that should have been shared with the masses prior to the day of the audition. That is what social media is for! A lot of people, myself included where shocked to get to the venue and it was demolished. I had to call in to find out where the auditions are taking place but I know for a fact that for some of the dancers who came there, this blunder was an inconvenience that put them off. 

The other complaint that I received from the dancers was the fact that they were not informed that they would have to perform to a specific song that was chosen by the production at the auditions. Many of them had prepared their own routine to their own music before hand. 

Interestingly though there were crews that performed to their own music inside so the whole thing was just too confusing for me so perhaps there was just a misunderstanding but it did cause a bit of unhappiness for some people there, nonetheless. 

Hopefully all these small glitches will have been ironed out when the audition move to other cities. 

Sidebar: This industry is full of arrogant people who wear their titles on their sleeves. I was so pleasantly surprised to meet Neo Matsunyane and watch him working. The man has to be one of the most friendliest and chilled people I have ever met in this business. 

It must be such bliss for the crew to work with him. He is a director on the show but being around him I was impressed to see him just having fun with his team. There were no screaming or pulling rank on his team. Everybody was doing their job and having been on few shoots in my career, i can tell you that it is not often that you find yourself on a set where everyone seems happy to be at work. 

Given Neo's experience and esteem, the guy has every reason to be pain, it was refreshing to witness this rare experience. A lot of people should take notes from the guy. Then again some people are just born nice and fame and power does not change them. 

And... the two female faces of the show, Tumi Vorster and Khabonina Qubeka looked hella hot!

More Auditions

The auditions continue today at the Market Lab in Newtown for day 2 then move to other cities, hopefully they will find some fresh talent there. 

  • Cape Town - Dance For All Studios

4 May 8:30AM - 5:30PM
5 May 8:30AM - 6PM

  • Durban  -BAT Centre

11 May 8:30AM - 5:30PM

  • Bloemfontein - Bloemfontein Showgrounds, Iris Hall

18 May 8:30AM - 5:30PM

  • Port Elizabeth - The Opera House

25 May 8:30AM - 5:30PM

The show will air its season 3 first episode on Etv, June 23

Good luck guys!!

Thanks to Etv for the invitation to watch the audition process. It was a fun way to spend my Freedom Day!

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