From a ‘sissy boy’ to a top ballet dancer

Top Alex ballet dancer, Mahlatse Sachane hopes to go all the way to the top with his career despite being bullied for being a ‘sissy boy’

One of the top dancers of the Joburg Ballet company, Mahlatse Sachane has come a long way from his days as a tiny 7-year-old school boy being teased by fellow pupils as a sissy boy for taking up dancing as his favourite pastime.

Sachane was the subject of ridicule at both primary and high school when he abandoned football and other so-called manly sports to take up ballet dancing.

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“I was called all sorts of names from sissy boy to gay, and the crime I had committed was to choose ballet dancing at the expense of soccer, rugby, cricket, running, high and long jump – all of which I did exceptionally well at school.

“I used to be a team member in soccer at both primary and high school until I gave it up to do ballet full time after I realised it was taking too much of my time and left very little time for my first love – dancing,” Sachane said.

He hooked up with dancing as a 7-year-old when a woman from a private ballet company came to his school, Iphutheng Primary and if anyone was interested in taking up dancing as a pass time. “I was one of the first to put up my hand and give my name. Since that fateful day, I have never looked back, no matter how I was teased and called all sorts of names,” he said.


A post shared by Mahlatse Sachane (@mahlatsesachane) on

From being teased by fellow schoolboys to receiving accolades for his dance skills, Sachane has come a long way and is currently one of the top ballet dancers in the Joburg Ballet company. “I receive calls and messages from various quarters, of people telling me how I have inspired them, their children and relatives to take up ballet dancing as a career.

“Even after our shows, people always come over and mob me and ask for autographs and tell me how wonderful I am as a dancer and that I should strive even more,” Sachane said.

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Sachane is currently in his second year of a four-year course of tertiary studies in the Bachelor of Business Administration at the Rosebank College in Braamfontein.

Besides dancing for the Joburg Ballet, Sachane joined the Johannesburg Youth Ballet at 9 years and remained with them until last year.

When the founding company of his dance talent closed down, he joined the Joburg Ballet Outreach Programme and met Fiona Brown, who helped him move from the outreach programme into the main company.

As part of his giving back programme he wants to encourage other Alex youngsters to take up ballet dancing as a career. Sachane is also committed to the outreach work of Joburg Ballet which takes him not just to Alex but other disadvantaged areas of the City.

If you would like to catch Sachane live in action, don’t miss the upcoming Joburg Ballet show, ‘Big City, Big Dreams’, which starts at the Joburg Theatre from 28 July to 6 August.


(Featured Image: Supplied)

This article first appeared in Alex News

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About the author

Mashudu Malema