Oti Mabuse: A Wild Child & her Partner

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul” ― Martha Graham
I want to preserve the memory and essence of a dance partnership, to my mind the most stunning that ever graced the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom.  I boldly make that statement because I have never been a fan of the show.  In the snippets glimpsed over the years I was not particularly enthused by the choreography.  I preferred the edginess of America's Dancing with the Stars; Oh, and there is the dazzling Derek Hough[1]

Oti Mabuse and Danny Mac changed all that. 
Showdance to Adele's 'Set Fire to Rain'

The South African professional Latin American and ballroom dancer and her celebrity partner, British actor Danny Mac were a perfect Strictly match

Mac and Mabuse are beautiful with the agility and fearlessness of youth; they moved in sync with graceful elegance. They were the dream team.  An underlying chemistry engaged the audience with the drama and unspoken narrative of the dance. 

Mac is a natural born dancer. He embodied dance, by which I mean it is in his soul. Once the technique was in his body as he often said, then a natural god given talent came on stream

Mabuse's commitment to creating spectacular choreography and Danny Mac's prediliction for dramaturgy - giving particular attention to the dramatic composition of the routine - entertained and enchanted audiences all around the country.  

Their Showdance set the ballroom alight and took the Strictly challenge to another level. 

From the outset I often glimpsed and was mesmerised by the free-spirited wild child that was Otlile (Oti) Mabuse.  

A braveheart, Danny Mac made the perfect partner for a Wild Child. His wholehearted enthusiasm for, and dedication to the task enabled Oti to showcase her creativity, flair and outstanding talents as a dancer and choreographer. 

Mac and Mabuse put heart and soul, energy and passion into every performance.  She recognised the fire, drama and intensity of his inner dancer and challenged him to 'bring it'.  He did.  

Argentine tango
Danny and Oti's 'off the beaten track' Argentine tango to Marvin Gaye's I Heard it through the Grapevine was spellbinding.

Every look, every gesture, every step, every stop and turn expressed the lover's all-consuming displeasure and aggravation at his girl's unfaithfulness.

Len Goodman was 'swept away' by the 'clarity of movement', the vibrant display  of the 'fire and ice, pain and passion'.   

paso doble
Their storytelling approach and zest for  self-expression through dance generated excitement and a clamour for more. On a Saturday evening I was transported to somewhere beyond my living room.
Wild Child and her partner brought a rhythmic free flow of energy and fervour to the ballroom that made entire routines breathtaking and magical. 

The trust between them and mutual enjoyment of the dance created some sensational and unforgettable images.
Heart-stopper end to American Smooth 

Alas the magic was over.  I am left bereft.

In the immediate aftermath of loss I play the entire #Teamdoti repertoire + It Takes Two interviews + training room videos on a loop every day and for most of the day if I was home. 

 A Samba for the history books
Who did that?  What the heck happened to the normal me? 

I laugh as I remember judge Bruno Tonioli's response after Danny and Oti’s 'hot and steamy', jaw-dropping samba.  He didn't know whether he needed to take a pill, lie down, or have a cold shower.  [Don't ever leave the show Bru, you are just DOPE as Will.I would say].

Like Bruno I'd lost my damn mind.
  It's like love[2] - pure and simple; mad crazy love.

Viennese Waltz
Weeks after the show concluded the spell begins to diminish and only refrains of my stuck-ness in super-fan groove remains. (Although every time I watch their Viennese waltz, I have a nervous breakdown).  Friends roll their eyes heavenwards and family think I was (still am?) obsessed. 

The criteria for diagnosing ‘obsessive behaviour’ as given in my outdated DSM-IV[3] does not fit.  If what has gone on is a mild tilt in the amygdala [4] part of my brain relating to pleasure responses, then I am not alone.  A #teamdoti cheerleader's twitter page describes her as ‘mildly obsessed’. 

Tango: "One Night Only"
No, I was not obsessed...well, maybe I was; just a little. Essentially though, my soul was captured by the pulse and rhythmic language of the dance; it wished to be saturated and satiated.
Fundamentally Wild Child and her partner spoke to me of love, joy, freedom and possibility, of dreams come true; of venturing way beyond the mundane and having the courage to go to the edge and then fly.  These are things for which the human soul yearns.

Oti Mabuse and Danny Mac gave expression through dance to the fearlessness of the unbounded, unfettered soul and my heart leapt.   

Cheers guys.  Love you both.  

One for the Strictly history books: will never be forgotten. 

And so whilst savouring that #TeamDanny&Oti #teamspectacular finally get to lift a #Strictly Championship Glitterball it is time, like right now, to put on my compilation of their dance routines. πŸ˜‰


[1] If you like contemporary dance and want a treat YouTube Hough and Kellie Pickler

[2] Dawayne Everttsmith: "Its Like Love" -  https://youtu.be/AAypHCnO5vU

[3] Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition.  American Psychiatric Association
[5] Related Post:#TeamDoti: Tribute to an Amazing Journey - Part I http://dotidivas.blogspot.com/2017/02/teamdoti-tribute-to-amazing-journey.html?spref=tw


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  2. Thank you for your diagnosis, actually thought I was losing my mind! They really need to take this act on the road. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘


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