After winning a total of seven medals on Sunday, South Africa completed the 2012 International Dance Organisation (IDO) Show Dance World Championships in Riesa, Germany as the top nation, edging out Slovenia and last year's winners, Russia, who finished second and third respectively.
Three gold, two silver and two bronze medals to the South African adult dancers (16 years and over) on the final day of the global show-piece left the country top of the medal table, moving up from 2011's second place finish behind Russia.
Over the six-day championship, which has categories for three divisions – Children (11 and under), Junior (12–15 years) and Adult (16 and over), South Africa earned a total of 12 medals, five gold, four silver and three bronze.
South Africa also won more medals in total than any other country, with Russia (11) and Slovenia (9) the next most prolific.
Shannon Weir, competing in her first World Championships, impressed the judges with her "Global Warming Kills" routine to secure the gold medal in the solo women's category. It marked the second year in succession that a South African had won the title after Chante Groenewald claimed it in 2011.
South African teams dominated the Small Group final with "The Drowning", comprising Bradley Peter, Kingsley Beukes, Xola Willie, Robyn Versveld, Shannon Weir and Fayme Hattingh, claiming the gold and "Medusa", comprising Given Mkhize, Bradley Theron, Carl Davids, Gemma Passmore, Kristi Gresse and Leigh Meredith securing the silver.
In the Duos, both South African teams that reached the final won medals, but were unable to topple the Slovenian couple, Klara Lainscek and Jan Ravnik, who claimed the gold. Bradley Peter and Coralle Versfeld, who performed "The Deer Hunter", secured the silver medal, while Xola Willie and Kingsley Beukes, dancing "Brotherhood", rounded out the podium places with bronze.
Showing immense depth, three South Africans qualified for the six-place men's solo final with Xola Willie claiming the bronze medal with his "Becoming a man" routine. Bradley Peter finished fourth and Kingsley Beukes sixth.
The South African team in the Formation, performing "Private Investigation", captured South Africa's final gold medal, beating the Czech Republic (silver) and Italy (bronze) to the top step of the podium.
It was also the final event of the championships and the team was asked to repeat its performance after the prize giving, with dancers from their rival teams seated around the perimeter of the arena floor.
The World Championship-winning South African Formation team comprised Tracy Ackermann, Kingsley Beukes, Nicole D'Artnall, Carl Davids, Kylie Duvenhage, Lauren Edwards, Jenna Fieldgate, Micayla Green, Kristi-Leigh Gresse, Andrea Haddon, Fayme Hattingh, Faith Heigers, Micaella Jones, Porcia Kietzmann, Bronwyn Kruger, Leigh Meredith, Given Mkhize, Miche Orsmond, Gemma Passmore, Bradley Peter, Bradley Theron, Robynne Versfeld, Shannon Weir and Xola Willie.
A decision by the South African Dance Teachers Association (Sadta) to commission Slovenian choreographer Mitja Popovsky to choreograph routines for the South African Small Group and Formation routines paid off handsomely, contributing six medals to country’s total medal count.
The IDO is a World Dance and Dance Sport Federation with a membership of over 90 nations, representing more than 250 000 dancers from six continents.
1. South Africa: 5 gold, 4 silver, 3 bronze, total 12
2. Slovenia: 4 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze, total 9
3. Russia: 3 gold, 3 silver, 5 bronze, total 11
4. Canada: 1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze, total 3
5. Italy: 1 gold, 1 bronze, total 2
6. Germany: 1 gold, total 1
7. Montenegro: 1 gold, total 1
8. Czech Republic: 3 silver, 2 bronze, total 5
9. Hungary: 1 silver, total 1
10. Poland: 2 bronze, total 2
South African medal winners
Kalon Badenhorst, "No Escape from Reality" – Junior Male Solo
Team South Africa, "The Composer" - Junior Small Group
Shannon Weir, "Global Warming Kills" – Adult Female Solo
Team South Africa, "The Drowning" - Adult Small Group
Team South Africa "Private Investigation" – Adult Formation
Kalon Badenhorst, Courtney Minnaar "Royal Sibling Rivalry" – Junior Duo
Team South Africa "Tailor made" – Junior Formation
Bradley Peter, Coralle Versfeld "The Deer Hunter" – Adult Duo
Team South Africa "Medusa" – Adult Small Group
Team South Africa "The Picnic" – Children Small Group
Xola Willie, Kingsley Beukes "Brotherhood" – Adult Duo
Xola Willie "Becoming a man" – Adult Solo Male