Africa’s Famous Sokkie Dance

’Sokkie dance is a traditional style of music and dance unique to Africa and popular mostly with Afrikaners who are the majority of the white settlers who moved to South
10 Dec 2016 11:00
Africa’s Famous Sokkie Dance
A couple performing a classy Sokkie dance.

’Sokkie dance is a traditional style of music and dance unique to Africa and popular mostly with Afrikaners who are the majority of the white settlers who moved to South Africa and Namibia during the 1800s.

The dance, when first seen, resembles line dancing, that is popular in the mid west of America.

It also has a certain flow like ballroom dancing, but with a less formal and more groovy pace, which makes it appealing to all ages of people of all genres of music.

To perform this dance you need a male and female partner and surprisingly it is normally only the male who walks up to the female and requests a dance. The dance has been used for many years to introduce and set up couples who might be considered good matches for dating and possibly marriage.

It is also a dance that is culturally part of the Afrikaans heritage and dates back centuries from when they first came to settle in Africa.

There are different abbreviations for the dance which is also known as “Sakkie Sakkie” and the “Water Pomp” but mostly it will be referred to as the traditional name of “Sokkie”.

The name seemed very strange to me, but after some investigation, I found out that the meaning of Sokkie in Afrikaans simply means socks, and it is referred to this because in the past couples would perform the dance in their socks or barefoot.

Nowadays it is looked upon as a sophisticated dance with intricate moves where people will dress up to attend these gatherings.

At these events it is not uncommon for matchmakers to pair couples up in the hope of them being compatible to each other.

I was introduced to Sokkie by dance studio teacher Johan Joubert, who has been teaching the dance professionally for over 10 years, upon meeting him I was convinced that it was very easy to learn the steps and I would be proficient at this in no time.

How wrong was I, the Sokkie has a lot of similarities to Latin ballroom dancing and I soon learned that I was not as flexible as I first thought.

To master the Sokkie dance, it would help if your build was more akin to a gymnast and not a 110 kilo rugby player build.

Regardless of this, I got stuck in and after about 30 minutes, I was on the verge of quitting, but my mental stubbornness would not let me.

After an hour of trying to master the dance my teacher Johan called time on the lesson.

Needless to say it is a lot harder to learn the Sokkie than meets the eye.

Johan and his partner Tiffany showed me how experts did it by effortlessly waltzing around and performing staggering twists and turns as they demonstrated the real flow of this sensuous and dare I say sexy dance.

Indecently the Sokkie dance is one of the most romantic dances and has been referred to as the dance of love.

It is certainly a very classical dance and has its roots in a bygone era, but today it resembles a cross between as I have said before line dancing and ball room dancing Latin style.

In today’s form it can be danced to in many genres like hip hop, pop, country and R&B, which makes it versatile for everybody.

Finally during my excruciating one hour workout with Johan, I can testify that if you want to get fit and use muscles you didn’t know existed then Sokkie dancing is for you and believe me it is also a great way to lose weight.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

 The writer is a Fiji Sun  columnist.




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