Oti brings glitter and dance to Woking

THERE are two coming treats in Woking for fans of double Strictly Glitterball champion Oti Mabuse.

Firstly, she’s bringing her dance show, I Am Here, to the New Victoria Theatre next week, and she is choreographing The Cher Show, which is heading for the town in September.

Oti Mabuse aims to create memorable moments in people’s lives

“This is very exciting because it’s my first official tour,” she says of I Am Here. “It’s such an honour. It’s going to be loud, funny and truthful, and people will meet the real me. We have a live band, great music and a cast of great dancers.

“I love touring and the audiences make it for me. People have paid to come and be entertained and it’s lovely to do that, to create a memorable moment in their lives.”

Oti also relishes the educational aspect of touring life. “I love learning and when you tour in the UK you learn crazy things. I love hearing the different accents and the different way people greet each other depending where you are.”

Even with two stage shows hitting the road, human dynamo Oti is still thinking ahead.

Oti Mabuse’s I Am Here will be storming on stage at the New Victoria Theatre next week, 30 June, before moving to G Live for 6 July

“I have a lot of things that I want to achieve in life, and I am lucky that my parents raised me to be driven and ambitious,” she says. “I really enjoy the journey of pursuing my dreams.”

Born in South Africa in 1990, Oti has been dancing since childhood. From making a name for herself in South Africa as the eight-times South African Latin American champion, she also managed to train as a civil engineer while competing in dance competitions.

As she won awards and championships across Europe, TV soon beckoned, and Oti joined the German version of Strictly Come Dancing. After two successful seasons, she joined the original BBC version of the show.

Oti won the coveted trophy in 2019 with actor Kelvin Fletcher and the following year became the first Strictly pro to win the Glitterball in two consecutive years, alongside partner Bill Bailey.

TV and theatre work continues to flood in, which she juggles with running The Oti Mabuse Dance Studio, but was performing always the dream?

“I wanted to go into musical theatre straight from high school, but my mum said I should be first academic and then pursue my passions,” she says. “Since she was paying the bills, I didn’t have much choice.

“Engineering and dance are both about problem solving and precision and I love them both equally. I’d love to do a TV show about it.”

Oti Mabuse – I Am Here is at New Victoria Theatre on Thursday 30 June, and then at G Live in Guildford, on Wednesday 6 July. The Cher Show is in Woking from Tuesday 6 to Saturday 10 September.

For New Victoria tickets, visit www.atgtickets.com/shows/oti-mabuse-i-am-here/new-victoria-theatre/

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