She’s the twice reigning champion of Strictly Come Dancing, winning judge on The Greatest Dancer and has hundreds of thousands of social media fans. So it was wonderful that Oti Mabuse found the time to host a masterclass exclusively for Razzamataz students.
More than 100 students and staff from Razzamataz Penrith, West Cumbria, Carlisle and Dumfries joined the virtual studio for a high-energy, fun workshop with Oti. The special experience was arranged by ‘super fan’ and Principal of Razzamataz Penrith Asha Richardson as she explains: “I reached out to Oti during lockdown as I find her really inspiring in all she does, and I loved joining her for her Instagram Dance sessions with husband Marius during Lockdown 1.0. I was so pleased when Marius got back to me and together we planned a Masterclass for our students.”
The students, teachers and staff has a wonderful session, spending just over an hour with Oti, before she had to rush off as she had a TV Crew waiting downstairs to film some of her upcoming work. Oti joined from her own office and streamed live into all living rooms to teach a fantastic Charleston Routine.
In true Oti style, the routine was fast, fun and there was so much energy coming out of the live stream. Oti said: “If your heart beat does not feel like it’s running out your body… You’re not doing it right! I look like I’ve just ran a marathon.”
Everyone had a wonderful work out and both students and staff were exhausted but left feeling so inspired, and eager to practise and learn more. Oti finished the session with a Q&A, where students from all four schools had the opportunity to ask her questions.
“It was lovely as we found out a little more about her life away from Strictly as she is so busy and has lots of other things going on too,” adds Asha. “She even let us into a secret, she said she much prefers ten people and a camera because theatre really scares her. She also shared her experience as a dancer, working onstage and behind the screen. She told us it brings her so much joy to dance and it was wonderful to see all our Razzamataz students smiling and nodding in agreement with her.”
Another highlight for the students was saying hello to Marius, Oti’s husband who’s also a professional dancer, and their cockapoo pup Leo. The Razzamataz staff were so proud of all students, especially when Oti said that she absolutely loves teaching students who want to learn. “The students’ enthusiasm and positivity shone through, even via a screen,” adds Asha. “Their resilience and hard work throughout the various lockdowns have been so inspiring and we were delighted to be able to give them this special treat that we know they will remember for a very long time.”
Feedback from students and families was extremely positive and included typical testimonials such as: “Another amazing opportunity provided by Razzamataz. Learning the Charlston, I was so proud of this little lady. We loved it,” Rachel Dilger, Razzamataz Penrith parent.
Razzamataz Theatre Schools has been running a number of masterclasses for both students and Principals throughout the various lockdowns. The network continues to grow with more people opening their own theatre schools and joining the multi-award winning franchise.
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