Basketball National League introduced us to a young and dynamic group called “Set It Off”. Yes, they really set it off on the dance floor. Their hard work on choreography and continuous presence of the group made them become increasingly recognized. Zkhiphani took time out to speak to the group – yes I was a tad jealous cause I can’t do all those splits but anyway, the girl group were very friendly and gave us the low-down about their day to day running.
Please introduce the name of the group and let us know more about the group members.
‘Set It Off’ is a dance group of beautiful young, dynamic, powerful and energetic ladies who are the resident dancers of the Basketball National League.
Set if off – namely Bontle Modiselle, Mindo Sefafe, Nonkukuleko Vilakazi, Nicole Koeberg, Vanessa Mathebula, Ginger Wensky, Vicky Serumola and Janet Maphafo. The group, being a few months old, was formed by Busisiwe Thwala, who sourced independent professional dancers who she felt would best represent the sport (basketball) and the group with the right look as well as the moves.
Why did you choose the name? and What inspired the idea?
The name ‘Set It Off’ came from one of the original members of the group Vicky Serumola, who felt the name was self-explanatory about what they are about and what one would expect from the ladies once they hit the dance-floor.
We’ve got so many local dancers in South Africa, what makes your group different from the rest?
Not every dance group is made up of independent professional female dancers who hold their own in their respective dance fields. Each dancer has an impressive profile, from who they have worked with to the heights they’ve reached in their careers. To have the perfect blend of both trained and untrained dancers, whom specialize in different styles such as Hip Hop, Local (Sbujwa & Pantsula), Contemporary as well as Latin & Ballroom, makes the ladies an undeniable versatile powerhouse.
What gets the group amped-up before performing?
There is nothing more thrilling than performing for a large crowd, as intimidating as it may seem. The atmosphere and energy from the change rooms all the way to the crowd is a thrill in itself. The ladies also have warm ups as well as inside jokes that carry the team through but in essence, getting to do what we love is all the motivation we need every single time.
Dealing with girls alone and working together might be difficult at times, how do you maintain oneness in front of people and outside?
The greatest advantage in this group is working with ladies who know how to communicate, who also understand that the success of the team is about the team and not necessarily how you may feel as the individual. The ladies have learned not to get too emotionally invested where it could hinder the progress of the group, hence differences will be sorted in a matter of minutes then the show goes on. In that case, there is no reason to pretend as though everything is okay when in fact, everything really is under control.
What do you do besides dancing?
As a collective, the ladies dance together but outside of the group, there are actresses, a photographer, a tertiary student as well as musicians and a medical practitioner.
When do you practice and who teaches you how to dance?
We rehearse twice a week, full day rehearsals due to other commitments. We are choreographed by Nanah Mthalane assistant choreographer of ‘Hear Me Move, South Africa’s first dance film to be in cinema in December 19 (2014).
How hard is it for a girls group to make it in South Africa?
It can be a difficult experience being a girl group in South Africa, for various reasons including internal political reasons to external societal factors but if you work beyond those factors, keeping the end goal in mind, it can be one of the most pleasurable experiences.
Any chance of working with male dancers?
The idea right now is to leverage what we have and who we are, to milk it for everything it is worth. The opportunity for males to join the group are there but right now, it is just about the ladies.
I’ve noticed that your group is becoming popular, being the resident dancers at Basketball National League, how has the reception from the outside been for the group?
The reception has been amazing from Government officials to local celebrities to the everyday Basketball lover, even those who aren’t into the sport at all. (The ladies have been the crowd’s favourite dance entertainment in half-time intervals and have sparked great interest beyond the court.) Expect to see ‘Set It Off’ at more events as the journey continues beyond the court.
Look you guys are smoking hot, no doubt on the court, body, make-up, outfits and all -and you get all the guys looking at you, how do you deal with guys approaching you in the manner of dating and hate from the ladies, and do you have rules in terms of that?
We know what we are worth especially because we take care of ourselves the way we do so we never want anyone to disrespect that. The aim has never been to make a scene if it isn’t necessary where guys are concerned. The ladies will dismiss who they will how they see fit. And contrary to what people may believe, we haven’t received any hate from the ladies. If it’s there, they’ve kept the hate to themselves and haven’t brought it to our attention.
Where can people get hold of you?
To get ahold of the ladies for bookings, contact Busisiwe Thwala: +27 83 524 0587.
To get in contact with the members of the group:
- Bontle Modiselle: Facebook: Bontle BornClear Modiselle/Twitter: @msbornclear
- Mindo Sefafe: Facebook: Lydimatthew Sefafe/Twitter: @mindyworks123
- Nonkululeko Vilakazi: Facebook: Nonkululeko nkulifresh Vilakazi/Twitter:Envyme_vilakazi
- Nicole Koeberg: Facebook: Nicole Chamelle Koeberg
- Vanessa Mathebula: Facebook: Vanessa Mathebula/Twitter: @vanessa_vlm
- Vicky Serumola: Facebook: Vicky Serumola/Twitter: _Forever_Vicky
Set it off dance group aim to be different with a mixture of dance style.
They plan to continue working hard and stand out from other dance groups and growing their brand.
With the impressive dance and choreography and bubbly personalities Set It Off dance crew are really winning the hearts of fans and followers. We are sure looking forward to ‘Hear Me Move, South Africa’s first dance film were some of the crew members from Set it off will be setting the film alight with their dance moves.