Sarah Cooper is a South African dancer specialising in Latin and Ballroom best known for partnering racing star Gugu Zulu on the fifth season of the SABC2 reality dance competition Strictly Come Dancing, in 2008.
Sarah studied drama at St Peters College where she obtained the award for best written monologue and best performance out of 52 schools. She then went on to study live performance and musical performance at AFDA.
Sarah is SADTA and IDTA trained and has been dancing since the age of eleven. Her dance styles include, Latin American, Argentinean Tango, Freestyle, Show dance, Slow dance, Adage, and Hip Hop, all of which she has competed in.
Sarah has also had the privilege of representing South Africa overseas twice for Latin American, once for Hip Hop and once for Show dance and Freestyle.
She was recently part of the Saturday Night Fever cast which was showing at Gold Reef City’s Lyric theatre, with Karen Bruce.
She is currently studying a BA through UNISA.
Strictly Come Dancing
Sarah was the professional dance coach and partner to racing driver Gugu Zulu in the fifth season of SABC2's Strictly Come Dancing reality competition, in 2008.
The first two weeks of the competition were non-elimination rounds, with the judges scoring dances by the male celebrities in Week 1 and the female celebrities in Week 2.
In Episode 3 - the first elimination episode - Gugu and Sarah performed a well-rehearsed Rumba. Despite the fact that the couple was worried about his timing during rehearsals, the judges were pleased with their performance and Tyrone Watkins could bring himself to call it "awesome for a beginner".
The couple scored 27/40 from the judges, placing them third. Combined with viewer voting they were safe from the dance-off that week.
In Episode 4 they performed the Tango. The judges suggested the couple shift into second gear, calling his performance lacklustre, but they nonetheless commended the amount of potential he showed. Lilian Phororo reminded Gugu not to be intimidated by Sarah.
They scored 23/40, placing them joint last with Judith Sephuma and Eksteen Traut. The two couples were forced into the dance-off after viewer votes failed to save them.
Salome Sechele vouched for Judith with Tyrone, Dave Campbell and Lillian (the judge with the deciding vote in case of a tie) voting to keep Gugu and Sarah in the competition.
In the fifth episode the couple once again ended up in the dance-off, despite a Zorro-inspired Paso Doble proved to be a winning routine for the judges. Despite impressing all round they were warned that one can also overdance and so neglect the technical detail.
The judges scored them 28/40, good enough for joint fourth place with Rob van Vuuren and Mary Martin, but Gugu and Sarah nonetheless ended up in the Bottom 2 with Adil More and Robynn Soules after viewer voting.
After the dance-off, the judges' final votes for which couple they wanted to keep in the competition were:
Tyrone Watkins: Gugu (“for going into overdrive”)
Salome Sechele: Adil (“for delivering a technically more sound performance”)
Dave Campbell: Gugu (“for his determination”)
Head judge Lillian also vouched for Gugu, immediately booting Adil out of the competition and saving Gugu and Sarah for the second week in a row.
The following week - in Episode 6 - a miracle happened for Gugu and Sarah.
In a shock, dramatic moment of SCD history, Gugu and Sarah - who scored the least points that week and had looked a dead certainty to end up in the Bottom 2 - were saved by viewer voting, bumping Tessa van Duuren and Grant Esterhuizen down into the Bottom 2.
The infuriated judges were forced to choose between Tessa and Hlubi Mboya, and although Salome voted to keep Hlubi, the other three judges all voted to keep Tessa.
Hlubi and Khutso Khunou thus became the fourth couple voted out of the competition, leaving Gugu and Sarah to fight another week.
In Episode 7, the couple were not as lucky. After ending up in the Bottom 2 for the third time in the season, Gugu and Sarah were never going to beat Anele Mdoda and Brandon Eilers Le Riche.
The judges voted unanimously to eject Gugu and Sarah, who became the fifth couple to leave the show, on 13 November 2008.
STRICTLY COME DANCING 5 GALLERY