Even though dancing is about good moves, flexibility and skill, in most cases the dance partners that have the best chemistry are the ones that seem to shine most and warm people’s hearts. Tshepiso Gare is one of those that had a dancing partner who did not only become that to her life but ended up being her husband. She has been dancing for over 10 years now with a partner who happens to be her husband. She first fell in love with traditional dance when at primary school.
First dance steps
She was later drawn to Latin and ballroom dance after her mother relocated to Francistown. “It took a while for my mother to find me space in schools. I was always home and bored because I did not know people in the town. My mum taught me dancing as our daily activity to comfort me and occupy my mind,” she said. She later got space at Selepa Community Junior Secondary School where she then formed a dance club. She later asked for help from Ndinae Chengeta at Francistown Senior School at the time to come and prepare them for more competitions.
When her mum got transferred from Francistown to Kanye, she continued with her passion – dancing. She introduced dancing at the village high school, Seepapitso. “Those were times when I was very young and confident even when I wasn’t perfect,” she said. After that she went to stay in Mogoditshane and tried joining dance classes at GSS and UB, but for some reason she became complacent. Things changed after she met Mothusi Sebego who challenged her to be part of a dance formation that was needed for a dance at the Grand Palm Hotel. She was surprised when she was included in 15 dancers chosen to perform. That encouraged her to start dancing with the group, but she later dropped out preferring to go clubbing instead where she danced till she dropped in most occasions.
It took a Godly intervention for things to take yet another twist. She started going to church and ultimately decided to give her life to Christ. She then started a dance team in church called Word Alive Ministries mainly to evangelise with it in church events. After that she travelled to Canada for an exchange programme and when there she received the most horrific news. “I was told that my mum was diagnosed with cancer and I had to come back home. She then passed on and I just couldn’t accept it but I turned to dancing as my comfort and since then I have been an official dancer and never looked back,” she said. Dance comforted her. She was fortunate to have a partner that she danced with for three years consistently and eventually turned professional together. But for some time she faced a spell of losing out constantly on the good dance partners she had. “I then started facing my grief and acceptance for my mom and my brother’s passing and after a year of staying home and grieving I decided to look for a partner,” she said.
At the time one Mike Gare wanted to start his dancing career and needed a partner. Though she was not convinced at the beginning on whether she should be his partner, she finally agreed and they started training for eight hours a day as they were both not working. “To make matters worse he came with a coach and we trained from 7am,” she said. In no time they were participating in competitions in Botswana, South Africa and Lesotho. This was under the tutelage of their coach
And now the rest is history. Since 2014 they have been husband and wife and they still happily dance together and want to see professional dance grow in Botswana. They have recently crowned the first dance grandmasters in the country. They are grooming these dancers and have secured sponsorship for them from companies like Malaika Jewellery and Agora Fashion. At the moment she is busy preparing a dance show that will be headlined by the three grandmasters.