Cape Town – On Sunday night the athletic coach and mom to Wayde van Niekerk, Odessa Swarts, became the third celebrity contestant to be voted out of Dancing with the Stars SA on M-Net (DStv 101), saying she discovered she’s stronger than what she thought.
Channel24 spoke to Odessa who shares what the dancing experience has been like for her, the footprints she’s leaving behind, and how being a part of the show changed her.
Is there anything that you think you could have done differently?
No, I really don’t there is anything I could have done differently. I came into this competition, and I prayed about it, and I asked the Lord to take me into this journey as long as I needed to be here and this is how far the Lord wants me to go, so I am happy with everything that has rolled out the way it did. I really don’t have any regrets.
What has the experience been like for you?
It’s been an amazing journey. I’ve met so many amazing people and I mean, each and every person that is on Dancing with the Stars SA is leaving a footprint in my life. They all brought something to my life and I’ve learnt from each and every one of them. And I leave this show knowing that I’m leaving a legacy behind, knowing that I’ve also left my footprints in Dancing with the Stars SA.
You’ve also been an athlete and you’re an athletics coach but dancing is still a different physically challenge. How has it been to thrown at the deep end in this type of a competition?
Well Dancing with the Stars SA has really been one of the toughest things I’ve ever done in my life. [ha ha.] I think running is much easier! Having to learn all of these different dances, different moves; and each move has a different name and each dance has a different name – dancing is one of the hardest things and I have so much respect for professional dancers now. It takes a lot from you, your body takes so much strain, and not just physically, but mentally as well – it’s tough, tough, tough.
How do you feel about being voted out?
I’m not sad that I’ve been voted out. Like I’ve said I prayed about it and I asked the Lord to keep me in the show as long as He needed me to be. I know that I made a different in some people’s lives. And my mission was to try and make a difference in just one person’s life and I think I’ve made a difference is more than one person’s life.
What did you enjoy the most?
Being part of this show. What I enjoyed most was learning how to dance, and how to learn a new dance each and every week. I enjoyed that the most. I walked away every Sunday knowing that I conquered a new dance.
And what was the hardest?
The hardest was the elimination round every Sunday. It was the hardest part – standing there and not knowing what’s happening.
How did the show change your body physically?
Dancing with the Stars SA has transformed my body. It’s like I said, I never knew dancing is that hard. I would sit Sundays and the sweat would drip down my face and I mean it was no diet or anything. It’s all just dancing and my body has transformed so much and dancing really tones your body as well. You really feel good looking at yourself after a couple of weeks of Dancing with the Stars SA.
What did you not expect about this journey?
I didn’t expect that I would be sad leaving people behind. Because when I walked into the competition it was all unknown people and now having to leave my partner [Dylon Daniels] behind – it saddens me because I looked forward to walking a long journey with him, but it wasn’t meant to be. So I’m quite sad about having to leave him behind.
What did you learn about yourself?
I discovered that I’m way stronger than I gave myself credit for.
(Photos: M-Net/Cathy Pinnock)