If you ever watched an episode of So You Think You Can Dance and were at some point interested in the Shield Teen Dance competition, you would know about Nkateko “Takkies” Dinwiddy.
She took dance and the fitness world in South Africa to another level. Back in 2013 the young 23-year-old started teaching dance (in heels nogal) and used it to help people heal.
I had never met her in person prior to this interview. But the person I met was a real spark. She came by the office, dressed in a comfy and cool Adidas Prime Knit Flow set and appeared even more petite in real life. We sat down and had a chat about her life surrounded by music and dance.
On her company: Rocking In Heels
The concept of Rocking In Heels started in 2013, which began just as a dance class.
“It took me like a year to come up with the concept. And it also stems from losing my dad.”
She was on a mission to heal after the passing of her father, but she had always wanted to start a dance class. And she used the best thing she knew how to do; dance. Takkies’ had a real passion for dance from a young age which grew into what she loves today. She even paid her own way to the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles at the age of 19.
“I always knew what I wanted to do was dance,” she says.
With the amount of work she has put in, her business is doing well. She has appeared in Somizi’s dance workout DVD, Jussie Smollett’s (of Empire) music video and on commercials for Woolworths.
Rocking In Heels now does corporate functions and also has an online store. If you want to learn the art of walking in heels, this is the place for you.
On marriage and motherhood
Takkies got married to Chris Dinwiddy in 2017. The two met on Tinder and, in a Top Billing segment where their wedding was featured, Dinwiddy admits to having been embarrassed about that for a short while.
“Shem he’s amazing,” she adds.
Her Instagram sometimes features how happy the couple is. There is a cute example of this happiness when Dinwiddy copied a video she did for a challenge, where he appears wearing one of her wigs. She heartily added, “Yhoo, he’s crazy.”
And then in 2018 she gave birth to their daughter, Sana Dinwiddy. She explains that Sana means sunray in Xitsonga and adds, “I was like if she is going to have an English surname she needs a Shangane name.”
She and her husband even shared a birth vlog. She praises her husband for being so hands on. She explains how he helps with Sana.
“I don’t feel stressed.”
Even with everything happening in her life she chose to be a mother first. She has become the kind of mother who saw all her daughter’s firsts.
What does the future hold?
Upon meeting her, it became clear that I was in the presence of a spritely personality. And she has big plans. She has now come full circle with Shield. Back then she was featured in a competition and currently she is a brand ambassador. Takkies wants her brand to help people and she has found that the private dance sessions turn out to be therapeutic too.
One of the driving forces to start Rocking In Heels was to help people find healing in and through dance, as she did after the passing of her father. To also push it up a notch she says soon she will be helping people with the nutritional side of staying fit.
“I want to help people eat well. Especially we black people. I feel that we don’t have access to that. We eat what we know. I don’t want to just teach people how to be fit I want to teach people what to eat.”
Added to this Takkies will be also teaching kids to dance.
“Sana is getting older. I want to work with kids because I feel like self-appreciation and self-love either starts from in the family or is based on situations you go through. I want to instill such in kids while they are still young. They will change the future.”
- Follow her on Instagram under the handle @takkies7