MASERU — The Lesotho DanceSport Association (Ledasa) will hold the first Open Independence DanceSport Championships at AME Hall on Saturday.
Ledasa public relations officer, Teboho Rakhomo, told the Weekender the competition is aimed at celebrating Lesotho’s independence which was marked on Tuesday.
“We celebrated our independence this week hence the competition is part of the celebrations,” he said.
Botswana and South Africa are expected to attend the contest.
Competitors will battle it out in the Closed Section, Open Section and the grand prix categories.
Rakhomo said this is the association’s second open competition following the Open Queen’s Birthday Championship which was hosted in June.
“Our aim is to increase the momentum of dance in the country. We believe that hosting African countries will lure young people to want to be part of dancesport,” he said.
He said Lesotho’s Open Championships were the toughest because they have three categories as opposed to other countries which only have the Closed and Open sections.
“We have the grand prix section where couples are required to compete in both Latin and Ballroom with five dances each.”
Rakhomo said the open competitions were also meant to increase momentum at Southern African Development Community (Sadc) level.
“We are trying to get all Sadc countries to participate in open dance competitions to raise the bar,” he said.
“We are also using these competitions to improve our techniques. We don’t have professional trainers and coaches so the more we participate at the open championships the better we will become with dance.”
Rakhomo said they had invited Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, South Africa, and Botswana but only the last two confirmed their participation.
“Zimbabwe and Swaziland said they would not be able to participate because they have just held their open championships recently and did not have enough finances,” he said.
Ledasa said they will be competing against 10 couples from South Africa and 12 from Botswana.
“We are not sure how many couples are going to be here because schools are closed so we are still making arrangements to get participants but we are expecting to have at least 24 couples participating in all the three categories,” Rakhomo said.
Adjudicators would include Lesotho’s Phamotse Mokhele, Pulumo Nchakha and Senate Letsie alongside Thabo Ntswane and Mpolokeng Khumo from South Africa.
“We have engaged Pulumo and Senate as adjudicators of the closed section to groom their skills before they are taken to a proper course soon.
“They will be helped and monitored by the South African team to ensure they are on the right track when judging,” Rakhomo said.
He said local companies were slowly buying into investing in the development of the dance industry.