Golden lining for Crawford duo

La Lucia's Jemma van Breda and Glen Anil's Emmitt Cawley were two of the standouts at the recent World Championships of Performing Arts.
La Lucia's Jemma van Breda and Glen Anil's Emmitt Cawley were two of the standouts at the recent World Championships of Performing Arts.

MORE than 450 medals were won by Team South Africa in this year’s World Championships of Performing Arts in Hollywood. Among the stories of triumphs was local dance duo, Jemma van Breda and Emmitt Cawley. Between them they won a staggering 15 golds medals, six silvers, four bronze and four Industry Awards as individuals and as a duet. Northglen News recently caught up with the Crawford College La Lucia pupils to find out about their trip to the USA.

“It was just incredible. We had no idea about the scale of the competition until we arrived. Winning medals not only encouraged me to enter again, but also motivated me to get KZN more involved in the world champs. As much as I love performing as a soloist, it was incredible to find a partner like Emmitt, who was so in tune with me. I loved every minute of it.

“Performing in front of a panel of international judges was fantastic. Unfortunately, in South Africa, we have a very limiting landscape and performing in the US we were able to get constructive criticism. And you get a different perspective as a performer,” Jemma said.

To reach the world champs, competitors had to win at least one gold medal in the South African Championships of Performing Arts. Emmitt was crowned the overall SA Championships of Performing Arts grand champion, while Jemma was crowned the overall winner in the category of Variety Arts.

For Emmitt, like Jemma, the world champs was a first in his performing arts career.

“It was super daunting, but I think mentally we were prepared. It’s hard to explain, but to know we have each others’ backs and that we can trust each other on stage is something very rare to find in a partner. I must admit I was a little starry eyed when we landed, but for me the world champs were a dream come true. I feel I’ve grown more as a performer,” he said.

The world champs, which have been running for 18 years, are cited as the official ‘talent Olympics’ for aspiring performers and entertainers and are the only one of its kind held annually in Hollywood, the entertainment capital of the world.

Shiraz Habbib

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