Tione Nthabiseng Mbhele Martin says that she has been dancing ever since she came out of her mom’s womb. From a very young age, she knew that she was unique because of how easily she would catch difficult rhythmic dance patterns and how smoothly she would adapt to any music genre.
The 18 year old dancer and aspirant singer, who is currently writing her matric exams, took some time off her studies to talk to us about her dance journey and exciting ambitions for the future.
Born in Johannesburg, Tione has participated in various talent competitions including East Coast’s Got Talent and SA’s Got Talent. Last year she was selected to represent KwaZulu-Natal in the Dance Sport School League; a platform in which she had to battle contestants from other provinces.
Tione masters her dance skills with two studios, i.e ‘In the Lab’ and ‘Leopardprint Studio’. She says that her coach and mentor, Verb, has played a major role in developing her knowledge and abilities in the entertainment industry.
“There are so many people out there that are different in the things they do and I appreciate them all for showcasing that.”
In spite of all the knowledge she has acquired from her mentor, Tione says that the industry is not easy to manoeuvre because pressures continue to exist for young stars. In her case, the biggest challenge is being undermined because of age.
“They take you lightly and they don’t believe in you until you actually blow them away. I deal with them by showing what I’ve got and by just being humble and let the universe align paths together,” she says.
Along her journey, she has made a lot of friends and connections and has had a number of gigs which include performing at rapper, Nasty C’s Ivyson tour. Her accomplishments do not end there as the supple dancer also performed and choreographed the dance piece in musician Jnr B’s “No no no” music video alongside artist, Polo B.
While writing matric exams would mean sacrificing her dance time, Tione told us that she has not put her dancing on hold. She has been able to find the balance between her studies and her art.
“My mother always told me to do everything to the best of my ability so I can achieve greatness in everything I do from all angles. There are a bit of times where I feel stressed but I always have my family and friends to support me throughout,” she elaborates.
Talking about life after matric, the alluring yet so elegant dancer says she is planning to further her studies by obtaining a qualification in Video Technology. In this way, she will be pursuing her dream of directing her own films and music videos.
Amoung some of the names she would love to work with as her career progresses, Tione mentions Nasty C and Boity because their song inspired her to dance a lot more to local hip hop. She would also like to work with J-Molly, Dj Doowap, Courtnae Paul, Anatti, AKA, Wizkid, Drake and Tinashe.
You can connect with her on social media. She is @Tione_Martinez on IG, @LimeTione on Twitter and Tione Martin on Facebook.
~ Thabile Shange