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Musa Motha proves he’s Got Talent as he dances to his own beat

A male ballet dancer with one leg practicing in a studio. He is standing on the toes of one foot, with the other knee bent and foot raised behind him. His arms are extended, one in front and one to the side, creating a dynamic pose. He wears a white sleeveless top with a textured pattern and white tights, and his ballet shoes have crisscrossed straps. To his side, there is a black object on the floor, possibly his crutch.
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Musa Motha, a 28-year-old South African amputee dancer, has a story that blends a moment of tragedy with triumphant achievements. Born south of Johannesburg, Musa’s life took an unexpected turn at age 10 when diagnosed with osteosarcoma, leading to the amputation of his leg. However, this loss became the cornerstone of an extraordinary journey.

Before the world recognized his grace on the dance floor, Musa was a passionate football player. His foray into dance began serendipitously, hanging out with friends who were dancers. Enthralled by their movements, he asked them to teach him, setting the stage for a transformation from a football enthusiast to a dancer.

Musa’s dedication to dance evolved from a hobby to a serious pursuit, leading him to join a professional contemporary dance company in Johannesburg. There, he honed his skills in ballet and contemporary dance, leading to international tours then a huge explosion onto the global dance scene. 

“I started touring internationally in 2019 but I had my big break last year,” he shared. He captivated viewers of Britain’s Got Talent, receiving the coveted Golden Buzzer and repeated that feat at America’s Got Talent in 2024, placing 5th at both events.

His emergence on the international scene not only highlights his exceptional talent but it is also a narrative of embracing one’s identity. Musa chooses not to use a prosthetic leg, finding authenticity in his natural state, a decision inspired by his mother’s wisdom that everything happens for a reason. Musa shared, “I believe there’s a reason why I’m an amputee. I have prosthetics but I don’t use them, I haven’t for the past two years. When I wear them, I feel like a different person who I don’t understand so I like to keep myself the way I am, naturally.”

Musa’s travels—from South Africa to the U.K., U.S. and Europe—have showcased his dance and also allowed him to experience life as an amputee in different cultural contexts. He notes the varying degrees of accessibility and kindness he has experienced in different countries. It has all been good, he says, but people in the U.K. stand out the most for their helpfulness. 

For him, travel is very much a part of his life now and he likes to be comfortable when on the go. His version of luxury travel is going out and being close to nature, and yes, being comfortable. Musa expressed, “luxury travel is not about opulence but about comfort, meeting inspiring people and connecting with nature.” Does he have a favorite destination? Yes, he loves the U.K., but adores Los Angeles which he says captivates him with its blend of urban life and natural beauty, embodying his ideal of luxury combined with accessibility and immersion in nature.

Despite his fame and masterful embrace of global stages, Musa remains grounded. On your own travels, you may spot him on a plane or train, headset on, cherishing the simple pleasures of apple juice and beef jerky, his favourite travel snacks. He’s open to talking, after all, he’s now used to being recognized and is comfortable with people wanting to have a conversation, so do say hello. You’ll be greeted with a modest smile and a willingness to share his story. He’s got a busy 2024, enchanting crowds around the U.K., Berlin, Paris and New Jersey. But when it’s time to vacation, perhaps you may find him soaking up the sun on a beach in Mexico which is on his bucket list of places to visit. 

We can all agree that Musa’s story speaks to more than just overcoming physical limitations. It inspires others to find their passion and embrace life’s gifts whatever they may look like. Musa is a figure of inspiration that stretches far beyond the dance world! 

Follow him on Instagram.

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