When Colette Zacca headed to Notting Hill Carnival on Sunday, she wanted nothing more than to have a good time. Now, a couple of viral videos and an underwear deal later, she’s spoken to Stylist about the whole experience.
On the second day of Notting Hill Carnival, it wasn’t the celebrities and spectacular costumes that stole the show: it was Colette Zacca, a.k.a. the “Dancing Granny”.
With a backdrop of Carnival revellers and blaring music, Zacca seized the crowd’s attention with her outstanding dance moves and infectious confidence, and before long, her moves were making their way across social media.
Dressed in a suitably-carnivalesque ensemble of a pink body suit, fishnet tights, blue pants and a stand-out sequin jacket, Zacca found herself at the front of the Carnival’s Rampage stage after she gained the attention of the MC – and ended up surrounded by people who were recording and snapping pictures of the moment.
“I felt a bit cheeky but just went for it!” says Zacca, speaking about the moment she realised how many people were watching. “I was just loving the music and loving every minute of it really. I felt very special. And if I never go to Carnival again, what a fantastic memory!”
Having spent the day living her best life at Carnival, Zacca expected nothing more from her tiny moment of fame, but there was another surprise hiding around the corner – a deal with underwear brand sloggi, who Zacca happens to be a massive fan of.
“I couldn’t believe it. Unbelievable. There really is no way to describe it,” she adds. “I’ve worn sloggis all through my dancing. sloggi g-strings, sloggi knickers – I used to put them on my Christmas list!”
Zacca, who says dancing is her “life,” had not been to the Carnival for a while – but it seems that, even many years later, she still found it easy to fit in. Describing the situation as “exhilarating, humbling and just FANTASTIC,” Zacca says that the whole experience has just felt “exactly right”.
“I feel like this is my time,” she exclaims. “Thank you is the biggest word I can say.”
With a brand deal under her belt and internet stardom on her list of accomplishments, Zacca has quickly become a viral sensation – and it’s easy to see why. The videos of her dancing have a uniquely infectious energy (try and watch them without bopping along to the music, I dare you), and the care-free attitude she carries with her is just so joyful and inspiring to watch.
“To be honest, it took me a while to get here,” explains Zacca, speaking about the self-confidence she exudes in the videos. “Then I hit 40, and I just thought, if I’m still here and still okay, I just need to be grateful for everything I’ve got.
“My best advice is to put your feet on the ground and just be thankful,” she continues. “I am a strong believer that life is for living, not for existing. Live it well, get out there, say yes to things, experience things – just do it!”
And as for the “Dancing Granny” title? Zacca’s a fan.
“I’m not an actual granny because I don’t have any kids, but I quite like it!” she explains. “I am old enough to be a granny, so why not!”
Images: Chris Ratcliffe