The wait is over for the South African version of the international dance show Strictly Come Dancing season 6 which premieres tonight. I had a chance to chat with one of the young and sexy contestants Zakeeya Patel and her partner Ryan as they shared with Live Magazine their experience of being part of this seasons show.
Q: Zak you’re an actress and have done some musicals, tell us about your love for the Arts.
Zak: “My goodness, I come from a family of performers and I have always known that I wanted to be an actress. I grew up in a cinema because my grandmother used to own one so I would watch a lot of movies and its then I knew that I wanted to be a part of that experience”.
Q: So Ryan with you being a dancer, did you always know that you wanted to pursue a career in performing arts/dancing?
Ryan: “I grew up in a family of dancers and surprisingly dancing wasn’t my passion it was just something that was there for me. But as the years progressed I started taking it more seriously and I have to say I am blessed to be doing something I enjoy”.
Q: Are you guys feeling any pressure in the competition at this stage?
Ryan: “The pressure that I am feeling is based on the fact that I feel Zakeeya has got so much to give and so much potential, so every decision I make I don’t take it lightly”.
Zak: “I don’t feel any pressure from the dancing aspect because I love dancing and learning, I’m a performer, but rather from the business side of showbiz, like building my brand as an artist, the networking and PR as I am fairly new in the industry. So for me this is a platform to sell myself as a brand and interact with the relevant people and just to get myself out there”.
Q: What is your secret to staying in shape and looking so good?
Zak: “I do a lot of cardio weights and yoga, I also get to do this amazing exercise called 24 which is 24 exercises in 24 minutes”.
Ryan: “Besides dancing I also do some weight training, some dance moves require a lot of lifts and swings so it helps to work on some muscles”.
Q: What are some of the lessons you have learned in the industry so far?
Zak: “I don’t believe in bad publicity, for me all publicity is good publicity but there are a lot of things I won’t do personally. I don’t necessarily care what other people think of me, but my opinion and staying true to me is very important to me”.
Q: What is it that you both want to achieve in your careers and where do you see yourself career wise in the near future?
Zak: “As an actress it’s never been about the red carpet moments. For me I have always wanted to evoke some feelings in other people, all I wanted to do was to move people. Hence I love acting I love feeling I actually cry a lot, I cry until I laugh, I laugh until I cry because I just like expressing my feelings”.
Ryan: “Transitioning from being a competitive dancer to being a full on performer, I love being on stage, I also love teaching people. I’m also planning on having my own dance studio as teaching dance has become one of my passions. I’m also hoping to get into some Mc’ing and maybe do some TV work too”.
Q: Which are some of the places that you have enjoyed going to since you guys travel a lot?
Zak: “I lived in Asia for a year or so, I loved everything about that place, the food, the people and the overall culture is totally amazing. I have also been to Thailand, India, Brazil and Italy just to name a few”.
Ryan: “I just recently did a tour in the UK, I did a few shows there and that was really cool”.
Q: What can we expect from you today on the premiere show of Strictly Come Dancing Season 6?
Zak: “We not going to be holding back, you can expect lots of fun, we are a great couple and we have never had any trouble what so ever working together. So do expect a great show from us”.
You can catch Zakeeya and Ryan (Couple number 4) on Strictly Come Dancing Season 6, starting on Wednesday 10 July 2013 from 20:00 to 22:00 on SABC 3. The Show will be hosted by Power Fm’s Pabi Moloi and Comedian Marc Lottering.