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Goodbye Dalen Lance

22 April 2013
Dalen Lance

We bid farewell to Step Up Or Step Out presenter, Dalen Lance. He speaks to us about presenting the show for two seasons.

He’s been the face of the reality dance show Step Up Or Step Out since its inception, keeping e.tv viewers captivated for two seasons, and now Dalen Lance, 30, is leaving the show to complete his Masters degree in Business Leadership.   

We chat to him about working on Step Up Or Step Out, which is due to return for a third season in June.

You’ve been with the show since the beginning, how has it grown over time?
The show grew tremendously – the viewership grew. The talent and the quality of the set have improved. In the second season, the audience was a lot more involved on Facebook and Twitter, which is great. From my side I was more comfortable; I took ownership of my role in the second season. I was more aware of what’s at stake for the contestants and viewers.

What are some of the highpoints?
The highlight was always meeting the crews and dancers and seeing them perform and grow, and getting to know them. My most memorable moments were going on headhunts to look for talent. A lot of crews didn’t know about the show, they didn’t know where to audition, or they didn’t know they had what it takes to be on the show. Those moments of going to Kwamashu on the hills of Kwazulu-Natal – it wasn’t only hot, but it was also very humbling.

You often had to find the talent yourself, what was that like?
I think it was fun because to see the expression on some of these crew’s faces when they realize we are there to ask them to audition was priceless. They were excited and grateful that we came out all that way to give them an opportunity to perform on Step Up or Step Out.

Who were your favourite acts?
Thembisa Revolution, Chakalaka and The Stunners. They were professionals and they always made sure they were exceptional on stage. They looked the part, they worked hard behind the scenes and they delivered. It’s very difficult to adapt gumboot and tap dancing to different beats every week, but they did their best. For example, gumboot dance is by itself music – the dancers can create their own beats and tempos. In this case they had to complement the song choices that were given to them each week.

What lessons did you take away from the show?
I learnt that as entertainers, we are all the same especially if we are all passionate about what we do. We all have dreams and aspirations. The only difference is that sometimes the quality of our talent differs or the length of experience and the nature of the talent differ.

What would you say are the qualities of a great TV host?
There’s experience, consistency, excellence and humility. If you apply those qualities in your work you’ll always have work and you’ll always be recognized for the quality of your work.

What message do you have for the new talent that will be showcased on the upcoming season?
When you are starting out, use every opportunity that’s given to you. When you perform, always treat it as if it’s the last performance you’ll ever do.

You’re a musician, an actor, presenter and an entrepreneur. What can’t you do?
I can’t cook.

You must have a hectic schedule, how do you manage?
If you love what you do you’ll make time for it. I’m always a knowledge seeker. I know what I can and can’t do. But everything I do I’m passionate about - whether it’s my creative side or business side – it always gives meaning to my life.

You’re leaving the show, where to from here?
I’ll still be in TV, maybe a bit of travel and most importantly I will be completing my Masters in Business Leadership. I’m doing my final year at UNISA’s Graduate School of Business Leadership. I want to apply those skills to my business. I also want to share it with other people who want to know how to balance between creativity and business.

For more updates on Dalen’s exciting new future, follow him on Twitter @dalenlance.

Auditions for the third season of Step Up Or Step Out begin on 27 and 28 April at the Market Theatre Laboratory in Johannesburg. Click here for applications and details.

The new season will air on Sunday 23 June at 6:05PM.