Favourite local dancer

Keeley Braunstein-Black

1. Esethu Gwintsa

2. Ella Steele

3. Dancing Gabe

At the tender age of five, Esethu Gwintsa pirouetted into the world of dance with a dream as delicate as a ballerina’s twirl. “I told my mom I wanted to be a ballerina, so she put me in dance classes,” Gwintsa says.

Raised in Winnipeg, she began dancing at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, later adapting to various studios across the city as her family moved.

Today she has 15 years of dance experience with a repertoire spanning a variety of genres.

“I feel like jazz is my favourite. I love it, and then hip hop I’ve come to like quite a lot,” she says. “There’s kind of a style in the middle, jazz funk. It’s kind of a mix of the two. I really like it, too.”

Gwintsa has performed in musicals and spent time as a cheerleader for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. “I did that for almost two years. I started in 2021 after graduation, but I’m not doing it now,” she says. “It was so fun to be able to dance in that setting and also cheer on our team.”

Known for her versatility, Gwintsa says she ventured into choreography two years ago, a surprising turn for someone who initially never considered it.

“It was something I never thought that I would get into, but I’ve had a lot of fun with that. But, ultimately, performing is my passion, like my one true love,” she says.

Looking ahead, Gwintsa says she’s recently begun to embrace dance not just as a passionate pursuit but as a prospective profession.

“I’d love to definitely move somewhere in the next couple of years and either do a dance program or just take dance classes in New York, Los Angeles or Vancouver,” she says. “I want to see what it’s like, because performing is different than actually working as a dancer.”

Gwintsa says she feels grateful to be voted first. “It feels nice ... It’s kind of a surprise, but it was a very pleasant surprise for sure,” she says.

Published in Volume 78, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 30, 2023)

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