Author Archives: Kira Hattingh

TEACHER FEATURE – Corlanie Botha

Let’s get to know Corlanie Botha better.

Corlanie Botha, Gauteng director for SACOPA and owner of Pulse Dance studio, received the Outstanding Coach of the World award at the World Championships of Performing Arts 2016. We caught up with Corlanie when she returned from Los Angeles.


Tell us how you first got involved in the SA Championships?

My dance teacher entered me when I was 12 years old and 4 years ago I started entering my own students.

Why do you teach dancing and promote the performing arts?

The 2 most important days in my life are: the day I was born and the day I know what for.

Dancing is who I am. My heart is my own baseline. I dance everywhere I go.

So first is my passion for dancing. Secondly I have a lot of faith in the youth and I believe in creating hope for kids through dancing. I want to up lift them and encourage them to be the best they can be. Dancing is my whole life and I am truly blessed to be in the position that I am now. I believe in letting your inner light drive out the darkness through dancing.

Other than being able to compete on a national level, why do you feel it benefits students and competitors to take part in the SA Championships?

They benefit through learning how to survive in a “battle of the fittest” world. They learn to fight for what they want, they make new friends, come out of their comfort zone and get to show and build on their talent. Some of these kids are not academically strong but through SA Champs they have a platform to shine and it gives them all a major confidence boost. This means the world to them.

What would your advice be for anyone competing at the SA Championships of Performing Arts?

Don’t let anything distract you. Don’t get intimidated by others around you, focus on yourself and your reasons for being there. Don’t get involved in fights. Plan in advance. Set goals and plan properly how to reach them. Ask yourself: why be ordinary if you can be extraordinary?

Tell us who inspires you?

Successful Business people. I know they also started with a dream and they did whatever it took to make it happen. I have a lot of respect for business people and love to take advice from them.

What would you consider to be your biggest challenges as a teacher/director?

To not disappoint my dancers.

Has being a part of the SACOPA family had an effect on your life and career?

Yes, in a big way! SACOPA gave me a lot of exposure and opened up a lot of doors for me into the dance world. I owe a piece of my success to SACOPA. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have been where I am today. Thank you Dr Ellen!


Tell us about your experience with Team SA in Los Angeles.

I was one of the Team managers this year and it was awesome and insane, like always. Team SA has so much love and we united as one family. We sang together on the airports, supported each other at the competition and we were there for each other through the stressful and happy times. LA was amazing and I didn’t want to come back. The vibe and energy there is mind blowing and on a total different level. To dance on the World stage again 60+ countries is an honour. The first week we travelled around Hollywood and the Fashion District. The second week was the competition which was awesome but still scary. We ended the trip at Universal studios.

I wish that every contestant could get the opportunity to go to the World Champs at least once in their career. It opens up your entire world to what you are busy doing in the Performing Arts world.

Do you have any success stories about students who have competed in the SA Championships?

At the 2016 World Championships Pulse Dance studio had 13 dancers representing South Africa in 20 different dance routines. We returned home with 8 gold medals, 7 silver medals, 3 bronze medals, 4 Division winners, 1 Grand Champion Award, 4 scholarships and my Outstanding Coach of the World award.

A world champion in her own right, Corlanie now teaches a new generation of potential champions. She is dynamic and driven, and she inspires others with her favourite saying: “We are not a team, we are an empire!


Champions on Stage at the Lyric theatre

The annual SACOPA Showcase of Champions was held at the Lyric Theatre on 27 August 2016. It was a spectacular event giving Team South Africa and all the other gold medal winners the chance to shine in front of friends, family and government delegates.

The Gauteng gold medal winners were also awarded their full provincial colours by the Department of Arts and Culture.

Showcase 2016 SACOPA

Gold medal winners from all over the country came together to showcase their talents, and what an experience it was for young and old alike!

Showcase 2016 SACOPA

We would like to thank everyone who participated in making this a show to remember. Thank you to parents, friends and family who came to support our champions, thank you to the professional staff at the Lyric theatre and CONGRATULATIONS to all our champions.

You make us proud!

To see everyone taking part click here, or contact us if you are interested in the DVD of the evening.


A superstar in the making.

MARIANTHE PANAS is a 15 year old vocalist from Kwazulu Natal. She has been a part of the SACOPA family since 2013 and to say that Marianthe is an over achiever would be an understatement.

Marianthe-Panas6We decided to go snooping around to see what she has been up to these past few years.

In 2013 Marianthe represented KZN for the first time at the South African Championships of the Performing Arts and she has been raking in the awards and medals ever since. That year, she walked away with 7 medals and the Overall Junior Vocalist Trophy. She was also selected to be a part of the SA Team and went on to compete in The World Championships of the Performing Arts in Los Angeles (WCOPA), returning home with another 5 medals to her name.

After this there was no stopping Marianthe. She literally doubled her awards and medals in 2014, taking 14 medals, the Overall Junior Vocalist Trophy and the Overall Junior Grand Champion Award at the SA Championships. She was awarded 12 medals, an industry award and the 2014 Junior World Championship award in the Open category in Los Angeles that year. Competing at the SA Championships again in 2015 she walked away with another 19 medals and the Overall Junior Vocalist Trophy Award.

Apart from winning another 19 medals and again being awarded the Overall Junior Vocalist Trophy in 2016, Marianthe also performed at a number of events such as The Durban Theatre Awards, Night of 100 Stars, The Women’s Business Assoc. She was also a guest singer on SABC Blue Couch for their Xmas program & again for their New Year program and was invited to be in the Born To Perform Christmas special that was aired on Mnet. She has performed with the KZN Philharmonic orchestra on a few occasions, including 21st May at the KZN Young Performers 2016 event at The Playhouse.

While in Johannesburg recently Marianthe was interviewed on Cliff Central Radio Station with Bryan Schimmel. On the 27th & 28th May, Marianthe performed at A NIGHT WITH THE STARS, produced & directed by Bryan Schimmel. The show also featured The Johannesburg Youth Orchestra and celebrities Samantha Peo & Timothy Moloi.  Marianthe performed her original song called HERE I AM and received standing ovations for all 3 performances.

The song was written by John Ellis with Marianthe’s input and was initially only intended for the SA Championships. However, the song was so popular that an orchestral version was arranged by Eddie Clayton for her to sing with the Jhb Orchestra, and was played on Cliff Central Radio Station. 

Marianthe made her professional theatre debut starring in the hit musical Supreme Divas at the Joburg Theatre, from 11 to 14 August 2016. The show ran for a limited time and received great reviews.


Not surprisingly, she has also been asked to sign with a management company for future events and looking at how she went from being a 9 year old performing Georgie Girl on a school stage, to performing with philharmonic orchestras in South Africa and competing on the world stage in Hollywood, it is clear that she is a superstar in the making. We are very proud to have her as a part of our SACOPA family and cannot wait to see how this young lady grows into the next Liza Minnelli, or is that Celine Dion? Either way, watch out world, here comes Marianthe Panas!