By Faith Haushona-Kavamba
A common thread among all human societies that have ever existed is that they have all had dance as an intrinsic part of their culture.
Although it has evolved over the centuries, each society crafting its own genre and style, it still remains a universal language and form of expression, just like music.
So it comes as no surprise that young Ruan de Waldt, like many dancers has always felt that dance (coupled with music) are his best tools of expressions.
“I have always been musically inclined, so initially I wanted to do music. I started off as a rapper mainly because my uncles listened to a lot of that music, with rappers like 2 Pac being some of my earliest influences,” De Waldt said.
While he found writing and performing music came easy to him, he discovered dancing when he was 15 years old and took a much bigger liking to it than his former hobby. “If it wasn’t for dance, I think I would go crazy. It is an important part of who I am, it’s my form of expression,” he said.
Three years ago, De Waldt was involved in a devastating car accident which left the now 24 year-old uncertain about whether he would be able to walk again, let alone dance.
However, the dancer was determined to get the use of his legs back and to get back to what he loved doing, which is dancing. “I had to re-acquaint myself with how to walk again, which I did in three months and in seven months I was dancing again. I was really motivated because I thought I had lost the ability to do what I loved most,” he said, laden with a sense of relief.
The self-taught artiste has gained a huge following on social media, boasting 5 000 followers on Facebook and over 4 000 on Instagram, surpassing even some of the local celebrities.
Unfortunately in Namibia, popularity is not enough to line one’s pockets. “To be honest, dancing is not a viable career choice in Namibia. I have been asked countless times by celebrities to dance for them or appear in the videos but they are not willing to pay what you ask them,” he lamented.
He added that working a full time job (as an accountant), finding time to dance at gigs presented another challenge, as well as financing his own videos presented its own challenges as well.
However even that has not deterred him from dreaming about his goals and working toward them. De Waldt said that if there were no limits to what he could do, he would want to become an internationally recognised dancer, either securing a residency show similar to Celine Dion’s in Las Vegas, or dancing for a prominent celebrity.
“For now, I am content with inspiring people with my dance videos. I get messages on my social media accounts from people asking me to upload more videos and that they brighten up their days,” he said.
He also added that he would still be content knowing he inspired someone to take up dance and see them succeed if his own career does not take off.
“I can’t say I have a fool-proof plan to help me succeed but I am doing something I love and I am hoping someone out there sees me… If you want to make it here you need to have the mindset of a dreamer, with a hint of realism. It sometimes looks like people just pop-up overnight but that is not the truth, its takes dedication, hard work and time to succeed,” he explained.
Apart from his famed social media videos, De Waldt is currently working on choreography for a music video, as well as a show to help raise funds for a charity organisation. Those interested in hiring him as a dancer/ choreographer can contact him on his social media pages.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015