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.

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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!

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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!