Red or blue? That was the key question that was asked at the V&A Waterfront, at the weekend where freestyler Zoë “Fairy” Aldridge, 20, from Table View won the crowd’s approval at the Red Bull Dance Your Style Cape Town Qualifier tour.
Don’t be fooled by the nickname, this Fairy is all fire, more dragon queen than Tinkerbell.
“When I battle in any of my freestyle styles I go by the name of “Fairy”. So I have always felt that there is magic in dance, particularly in my dance,” she said.
“Dance has gotten me through a lot of tough times and that I find pretty magical as well as my style of movement I would say is soft and delicate in texture but powerful in its essence.
I think it was in one of my very first battles in 2021, where I had a number of people all on that same day reference that I remind them of a fairy in my dance as well as in my aesthetic and it’s kinda just stuck since then,” she said.
Hosted by the energising Mel Rock, the amphitheatre at the Waterfront was filled to the brim with excitement as the street dancers from across the city came through in numbers to take a chance at grabbing this ultimate title.
After numerous challenging rounds with a variety of music carefully curated by Courtnaé Paul on the decks; the blue side and dressed in all blue, Aldridge skillfully showed off her best moves that ultimately won the crowd and the title of the best street dancer that will represent the Mother City at the Dance Your Style national final taking place in Pretoria, later this year.
“I have been fortunate enough to train in many different styles of dance, however I wouldn’t say there is one style I can use to define what I do or who I am. The style I dance is a mixture of the training I have received. I would say the style of dance I do is purely “me” with no label and no box, just me. However, I am inspired by many different styles and cultures and when I am in that realm of each style I am able to adapt to being that,” she said.
“Dance is my way of communicating so I really got the chance to express myself and I was able to exchange and express myself with some of the opponents. I can’t even fathom what just happened, it’s really cool to know that training pays off, it shows that I am on the right track and looking forward to even further growth,” Aldridge said.
This year, for the first time since this global one-on-one street dance competition Red Bull Dance Your Style has been taking place in South Africa, three women have been crowned winners of the regional tours so far.
Commenting on what this female representation means to her, Aldridge said: “We are coming to slay; I am so excited because that’s all I want for the female in the dancing battle space to really grow as well as the freestyle scene in general. We are just as powerful, and have different attributes we bring,” she said.
Of course, she will have her work cut out at the nationals where she will come up against all the regional winners. “Battling is something that motivates me to keep working on myself and my craft and it encourages that constant level up and I thrive off of that adrenaline,” she said.
“I hope to inspire and show people that it is possible to make a living off of the arts and that the arts is just as important and prestigious as any other career path one can choose,” she said.