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Glamour in conversation with Bontle Modiselle on being one of the local faces of the G Star Raw Elwood Campaign

Who is Bontle?

Bontle is an evolving artist – Businesswoman, Choreographer, Performance Director, Television Host & MC.

How did you begin dancing?

I could dance before I could walk, so my mother says.

How do you balance being a businesswoman, dancer and mom?

The greatest gift has been my supportive family who show up for me and support me through it all. Where they are able to lift the weight, they do. The second has been the courage to actually see each role through, because I honour who I feel God has trusted me to be in this lifetime and I want to show up as her, whoever she is, in my full capabilities.

Has dance and movement always been your passion?

Absolutely! It’s been my voice of reason, the answer to a lot of questions I’ve asked, and the very thing that kept me going even when I didn’t feel I could, or should.

The G-Star Elwood is all about freedom of movement. What does the freedom that comes with dance mean to you?

In a world driven by rules of ideas, concepts, opinions on what to do, what not to do, who to be/not be and how to go about it – you very easily feel stifled, like your growth stunted and your expression is limited. But dance has always afforded me the ability to be who I want and need to be, with no restrictions but in fact inviting me to learn the rules in order to break, more so, it’s encouraged me to set my own rules.

Were you comfortable dancing in the G-Star Elwood?

Absolutely! Felt mad swaggy too

Dance is a revolutionary art form, just like G-Star’s Elwood design. How would you like to be remembered in the dance industry?

I’d love to be remembered as someone who moved, lived and loved passionately, purposefully. I want to be remembered as someone who carved her own lane, ran her own race but to pave the way for those walking beside me, following behind me, having left the industry better than I found it.

What motivates you to keep striving to be the best at your craft?

Knowing that I forever remain a student of life and I can never stop learning and growing. I don’t strive to be the worlds best, I simply want to be my best – in heart, in mind, in body, in spirit – through dance. It’s the child-like quality of curiosity that keeps me intrigued, youthful and simply excited.

How would you best describe dance culture in SA?

I always boast about how I feel South Africans are the best dancers in the world. Our technique, our musicality, my movement and the soul we move with is incomparable. It’s in how we walk and talk. What more when we dance. It’s fluid, with such great range of inclusivity all the way to technical excellence. We dance soul.

How do you think it has evolved into the different subcultures it comprises of today?

We’re extremely versatile with so many different pockets, inspired by the rich history of our movement and the merging of culture and tradition, constantly inspired into the evolution of these styles. As versatile and diverse as our styles are, they are interconnected and you see nuances of different styles showing up through each variation. Each style has its own character, rhythm, personality and vibes but an amazing representation of who we are and the energy that drives us. We dance with so much finesse and ease, like we’re the creators and curators of movement and dance.

Which dance styles influence how you move?

I’m a sponge so I gravitate towards anything that’s different, colourful, fluid, vibrant and expressive. All the variations of Street dance culture. Sbhujwa, Amapiano, Bhenga (Gqom dance style), isiPantsula, Kwassa to name a further. Do you follow any international dance styles? Absolutely. Anyone who has followed my work would know I have an insane obsession with African and Caribbean dance styles and movements. I’ve also found my rhythm and groove in Hip Hop – specifically Popping. AfroBeats from West Africa - Nigeria, Ndombolo of the DRC, Reggae and Dance hall of the Jamaican Culture. I’m a melting pot of all these influences.

Skinny or loose jeans?

What’s the occasion? Cause I look great in both.

What does it mean to you to be a part of such a monumental campaign for G-Star RAW?

I go where authenticity meets creativity and excitement – it’s an honour to be part of something as special as this.

What’s your favourite track at the moment?

A toss-up between Mali Talk by GoldMax, Mnike by Tyler ICU, Peacock by Uncle Waffles & Ka Valungu by DJ Tebza.

Any upcoming performances that we should look out for?

Lots to mention but many exciting things ahead.

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