How far would you go to pursue your dreams? How about 9000km? That is the distance between Johannesburg and London which Johannes Radebe travelled when he was first asked to participate on Strictly Come Dancing UK. Now the incredibly talented dancer was invited back as one of the Pro’s in the competition and we had the opportunity to chat to him while at the DaVinci Hotel in Sandton.
The Two-time Professional South African Latin and three-time South African Amateur Latin Champion began as part of Arimba Dance Company. Raised in Zamdela in Sasolburg he found his passion when he took the chance and joined a new dance class while at school.
His first competition then ignited the spark which still burns inside him, even though he was knocked it in the first round. The prospects of leaving the township and going to a city excited him and he started his career as a dance teacher at a social dance studio. His friends saw his potential and encouraged him to go further, and after an audition, he landed his first international job in 2008, dancing on cruise ships.
7 years in, and a few promotions later, Johannes realised that he wanted more. He then came back home and the opportunity to take part in Strictly Come Dancing SA crossed his path. After reaching the finals twice, he joined Burn The Floor and toured the world again till Strictly Come Dancing UK came knocking.
His full circle moment of going to Blackpool, one of the most prestigious dance competitions in the world, happened last year. From sleeping in a taxi rank to staying in some of the best hotels in the UK, Johannes has come a long way. Now, through dance, he’s able to look after his family honouring his promise to his mother when he said ‘trust me with this’.
Having earned his stripes through years of dedication and commitment to improving his craft, Johannes is still far from done. He is looking to get his qualification with the British Dance Council then fellowship. That means that he can qualify others, allowing him to come back to SA and qualify the talent that this country has.
His dream is to see more people teaching dance to the masses. Dance needs to be encouraged and celebrated, and trail-blazers like Johannes are to thank for the ambition, drive and passion exhumed by the youth in our country!