Welcome Jason Gilkison to the Judging Panel

11 January 2018
Renowned international choreographer will crit celebs’ fancy footwork on M-Net’s Dancing with the Stars South Africa.

M-Net is pulling out all the stops for its glitzy new Sunday night entertainment extravaganza Dancing with the Stars SA. The channel first secured the participation of a variety of famous movers and shakers from an array of different backgrounds and has now added a sought-after international judge to the show’s role players!

Internationally acclaimed choreographer and creative director Jason Gilkison will bring his expertise to the Dancing with the Stars SA Season 1 judging panel. Apart from sharing his opinion about the competing couples’ interpretation of different dancing styles, he will also function as creative director, overseeing the couples and group choreography and the creative execution thereof.

Jason, whose creative skills have been seen around the globe on stage and screen, is probably best known for his work as judge and choreographer on the hugely successful TV series So You Think You Can Dance, both in Australia and the USA. He personally choreographed over 80 routines for the popular franchise.

Not a novice to the industry, the renowned choreographer has held the coveted position of Creative Director of Choreography on the BBC series Strictly Come Dancing in the UK. Along with his team, Jason's creative vision and artistic direction have helped transform the show into a global success, earning him four BAFTA nominations along the way. 

“I can’t wait to come to South Africa and start working on some big, spectacular dance numbers for the show! This is going to be one fierce first season,” Gilkison reveals. “Dancing with the Stars is a show for the whole family, something that everyone can watch and enjoy.”

Jason is indeed no stranger to the format and has also lent his creative vision to Dancing with the Stars in the USA. With his out-of-the-box thinking, he created a spectacular Grand Finale opening in 2010 which was broadcasted live to over 24 million viewers.

The dance master also held the role of choreographer for Dame Edna’s ‘Back With a Vengeance’ tour for Broadway, in the USA and Australia. Furthermore, the choreographer has guided the dance routines of a long list of stars, including Celine Dion, Robbie Williams, Andrea Bocelli, Will Young, Take That, Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett, and many more.

The list of local celebrities who will be dusting off their dance shoes include Mzansi’s Best TV Presenter Thembisa Mdoda, acting icon Frank Opperman, agile young actress Juanita De Villiers, former Miss SA and radio presenter Liesl Laurie, Wayde van Niekerk’s super-fit mom Odessa Swarts, nimble film and TV starlet Zola Nombona, music star Connell Cruise, Bafana Bafana legend Delron Buckley, ex-Springbok rugby player Thando Manana and netball player Vanes-Mari Du Toit. M-Net will be revealing the identities of the last two celebrity dancers soon, as well as which experts will be joining Jason on the illustrious judging panel. 

Dancing with the Stars SA will premiere on M-Net channel 101 on Sunday, 4 February at 17:00. The series is produced by multi-award winning Rapid Blue and sponsored by Lottostar.