'Jiva!' star Sne Mbatha & breakdancer Mids talk about the change they want to see

30 August 2021 - 06:00 By chrizelda kekana
Dancer, choreographer and Jiva! star Sne Mbatha has opened up about what it takes to make it in the tough industry.
Dancer, choreographer and Jiva! star Sne Mbatha has opened up about what it takes to make it in the tough industry.
Image: Instagram/Sne Mbatha

Netflix Jiva! star and choreographer Sne Mbatha has opened up about how she feels dancers are neglected by the powers that be and how that needs to change urgently to allow the new generation of dancers to thrive.

The dancer and actress spoke candidly with TshisaLIVE about the major hurdles one has to face to make it as a dancer and choreographer. Having worked hard for years before making it into the mainstream, where work opportunities are more readily accessible, Sne said aspiring dancers shouldn't have to struggle so much to live their passion and carve out careers.

“My opinion is that we need more opportunities and more platforms for dancers to be able to access proper dancing in dance and education, so that we are able to all grow and at least establish some sort of unity within the dance fraternity. We need more investments and belief from corporate, you know for people to invest more in dance, as it is a sustainable career. We are a dancing nation, I don't understand why we are being neglected.

“We need more financial support so that we can build more facilities, more dance studios, create more job opportunities by hiring more dance teachers and trainers ..." said Sne.

Sne, who hails from Kwa Zulu Natal, said even though she's had the opportunity to work with great productions and festival, being part of Jiva! was a big deal for her.

“My biggest highlight as a dancer and choreographer, has been creating a dance scene for the latest Netflix series, called Jiva! I also feature there, playing the character of Zinhle. I created and choreographed one of the scenes on episode three — the Durban, uShaka Marine scene where the girls fetch Ntombi. Doing that really changed my life.”

Watch Sne in her element below:

Break dancer Midian “Mids” Ganyaza also shared her thoughts on what could be done to benefit the dance industry.

“Something that definitely needs to be done better for dancers is create things like unions for us. It will help dancers and give them the opportunity to use their voices and speak their minds ... create the standard of how dancers ought to be treated by the industry and corporates that hire them. It will give dancers the respect that they need from people that employ them, ” she said. 

“Dancers also need to respect themselves enough to move away from 'working for exposure'. What we do is a career and I really do encourage dancers to not settle for just exposure. Exposure doesn't pay bills,” Mids added.

Mids had the opportunity to compete in three international competitions and she feels that was not only a step up in her career but validation that the industry is growing and she can grow with it.

Her first national battle was in 2019 when she qualified for a Top 4 spot at the RedBull BCOne B-girl section. In 2020 she participated in her first international online dance battle (#bgirlsruntheworld) organised by legendary B-boy Wicket.

The “B-girl” from Gheberqa started break dancing at 21 and told TshisaLIVE that dance has always been an outlet and a form of expression for her. 

“I look forward to more opportunities as a dancer. I am in the process of developing myself as a dancer and I look forward to working with artists I look up to. I am excited about the future,” said the dancer who said she feels she's destined for success, whether or not the government or private sector pitch in to better her industry.