WH Cover Star Takkies And Her Mom Look Strong And Toned In Adorable New Video

by | Feb 9, 2024 | Cover Star

There are a lot of things to be said about two-time Women’s Health cover star Takkies Dinwiddy, the fitness influencer, dance instructor, PUMA ambassador, entrepreneur and mom of two. But one that stands out? Her constant inspiration. She’s encouraged thousands of women to love their bodies as they are. This coming-for-every phenom is teaching women to carve out a life that’s truly their own – by believing in themselves, maintaining a blissful mindset and moving their bodies in ways that bring joy.

Most recently, Takkies wowed us with an adorable clip of her working out with her mom. Her mother, wearing the Women’s Health limited edition Fit Night Out workout shirt (we melted!) keeps up the pace with her ever-fit daughter Takkies. And we’re loving the proof that fitness is for every body, age and skill level.

How cover star Takkies chills out

When you talk to most fitness influencers, their morning routines are always a big deal. Up at the crack of dawn, followed by their workouts, green shakes and morning rituals. But today, Takkies is taking it easy. She’s in a hotel in Cape Town, away from her kids, taking some much-needed time for herself. “I haven’t had a chilled morning in the longest time!” she enthuses. “[And] I really took my time to wake up. I got breakfast, got a coffee and now I’m here.” For the 33-year-old, rest is paramount. “I think there’s so much power in knowing when to just chill,” she explains. “And that’s what I did. And I feel amazing. I feel like I’ve had a workout.” It’s a testament to the fact that rest can feel as rejuvenating as a tough-as-nails sweat session, especially when you need it.

Takkies’ morning routine

Normally, Takkies is up early to take care of her daughters Sana and Suri. She prioritises a workout in the morning to “fill up her cup”, then takes the kids to school, and from there it’s all systems go until the end of the day. Takkies has been busy for as long as she can remember, running Rockingnheels, where women swap cocktails and heels for water bottles and gym shoes for a great dance cardio workout. And she’s also operating her new business Solani, her workout equipment brand. Now, as she celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the Rockingnheels, she’s taking a moment to reflect on those efforts.

Solani yoga mat
PUMA one-piece swimsuit
Solani resistance bands

READ MORE: 5 Morning Routines That Actually Work, According To Science

Rocking the world 

For her, the class started as a way to just let off some steam and create happiness after the death of her father. The two were close and Takkies dealt with his death in her early 20s, which was hard for her to process. After losing her father, she found “pockets of joy” through dancing, which translated into the thriving business she has today. “I wanted to create a safe space for women to release and just have fun, no matter what they’re going through,” she says.

Now, thousands of classes later, it’s grown into a thriving business, branching off to accommodate hen parties, business team-buildings and more. “I hadn’t planned for it to grow into this big, amazing business. And now we’re here 10 years later and I’m just so blown away. It’s just amazing how sometimes we plan things for ourselves, but God always has a bigger plan. And this is a perfect example of, God’s plan is bigger than my little class that I was planning.”

Dance is so powerful. It’s healing. And I’m also pleased to still be doing what I love.

Dance as medicine

For Takkies, there’s a higher power at play when you’re dancing. The happiness she feels is infectious, as is evident in her myriad dance videos online. In each and every clip, that broad smile – and even bigger dance moves – injects you with joy and you can’t help but want to get up and groove yourself. It’s something that was innate from when she was a little girl, copying the dance moves on music videos and rehearsing them in her living room. “That made me so happy and I knew from that feeling that this is something I’m going to do forever,” she says.

Not only that, but she’s managed to make the business work in London, where she now lives. “Dance is so powerful. It’s healing. And I’m also pleased to still be doing what I love. Not a lot of people can say this, you know,” she remarks.

READ MORE: These 5 Workout Tips From Takkies Will Motivate You To Hit The Gym

Takkies photographed by Gareth Barclay
Takkies photographed by Gareth Barclay

Pivoting with purpose  

The move to the UK didn’t come without its fair share of trials for Takkies. She’d moved during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, pregnant and all, without the support of the people she knew and loved back in South Africa. During that time, dance studios were closed and she had to take her business online. With a COVID lockdown in place, Takkies found it hard to find people to connect with; places to do her hair, and to just find her feet. “I didn’t have people who could help me because I didn’t know anyone in my area,” she says. When she gave birth, her mom couldn’t be there because flights weren’t allowed. It was a strange and lonely time. 

“I’m also very good with accepting things the way they are or the way they are panning out,” she says. Slowly, things started to open up in the UK and Takkies could meet new people and connect. 

Finding her feet

For her, finding her career feet in London happened through the force of self-belief and with a little push from her new friends. It was one of these friends that encouraged Takkies to try some amapiano classes in London. Takkies immediately saw the opportunity, since amapiano is a truly South African sound, that was also growing internationally, with fresh dance moves to match. “I was like, ‘You know what? I’m South African. I can bring South Africa to the UK’ — and then you just never know what kind of people come to class,” she says. “And let me tell you, the women and the men that come to class are from all over the world. I’ve had people flying from Paris and people from all over Africa. It’s just so amazing.”

Through amapiano dance classes, Takkies — along with her clients, found a community of expats keen to engage. “The feedback I’ve been getting is that people have made friends in class and they now feel at home in London, which is amazing,” she says. The way people receive class, while I embraced who I am and what I love is confirmation that you can go anywhere in the world as long as you’re yourself, and I love that about my classes.” 

READ MORE: Takkies Shares 4 Of Her Ultimate Total-Body Workouts

Moving well

One thing that kept her motivated as she found her feet in a new country was exercise. Takkies prioritised her workouts and daily movement which kept her in a positive headspace. Doing what she loves, dancing and working out, has also translated into working with the global apparel brand, PUMA. For her, there was a natural alignment; they’re both in the space of serving women, and that’s something that felt right with her. “I resonated with PUMA because they’re big on women empowerment. That’s my biggest thing. And I’m also very big on working with people that make sense with the things you believe in and stand for,” she says. “Besides their clothes looking amazing, they do really cool campaigns for women. They champion women like, ‘You go, girl, whatever sport you do, you’re strong, you’re powerful.” 

Takkies photographed by Gareth Barclay

Movement = mindfulness

What keeps her feeling powerful though? Experimenting with different workouts. Takkies is currently trying out F45 in London. It’s a high-intensity workout that always gets a sweat going, something that Takkies really loves. “I’m a huge fan of H.I.I.T workouts. I also love going for runs before I start my dance workout,” she says. “The best way for me to continue enjoying working out and to keep things interesting is to switch it up but doing different types of workouts.”

And her daughters are not immune to Takkies’ love for movement. Now, when she’s worked out and the kids have missed it because they were asleep, they’re sad. “They now will be like, ‘Mama, I want to work out with you!’” says Takkies. “I’ll do something for like five minutes and then they’re like, ‘Yes, we worked out!’ And I love that because if they have that now, they already know that it’s good to work out. I’m loving my body and I’m doing something my body needs — from a young age.”

Making space 

The challenge of having two daughters is one Takkies is more than keen to take on. Life itself is something Takkies tackles with joy. “Firstly, I love life so much!” says Takkies. “I even have conversations with God. ‘I’m like, bro God, I love life so much. Please protect me today so I can see tomorrow.’ And I also believe that if I’m positive for myself, I will attract positivity towards me. And that’s what it’s been.” It’s in this way that Takkies approaches raising her two daughters.

Sharing the love

For her, it’s about sharing the love with her children, Sana (5) and Suri (3), while giving herself space to breathe, too. “There are times when with the girls and I feel like ‘Oh my gosh, okay, this has been full on and I’ve been giving, giving, giving’,” she says. “I’ll say girls, ‘Five minutes. Okay, so in those five minutes, we can either colour in really quietly, I can put on a show for you really quickly. Or you can just play’, and they get it. I’m like, ‘Mama needs time just to regroup’ and I have taught them this from a very young age because I think it’s very important for them to know that I am also a person besides just being their mom. Mom is not just who I am. It’s part of who I am.”

To this end, her daughters have been taught what self-care is and are expressing their own needs, too. “The girls and I have very honest conversations all the time especially about self-care,” says Takkies. “I see with my oldest one when she sometimes needs a break from her little sister or she’s feeling tired; she expresses that she just wants a bit of quiet time with no distractions. I appreciate this so much because it shows she understands that there’s just moments in life where you need to reset.”

Nourishing up 

When it comes to nourishing her body, Takkies fuels up with a mostly vegetarian diet (fish features in the odd meal) — but has opted out of meat. “I went on a plant-based cleanse for about 21 days then when I tried to re-introduce meat, my body rejected it,” she says. “I took that as a sign that my body doesn’t want meat at all.” After taking a DNA test, she found that meat doesn’t metabolise well in her system — and she feels so much more energised now that she’s cut it out.

Her kids are on the wellness bandwagon with her (they don’t like meat either), and she encourages them to see healthy food as nourishing tools for wellness. “They know that we need to take care of our bodies,” she says. If there’s a piece of broccoli on their plate that hasn’t been eaten, Takkies is there to remind them of all vegetables can do. “I’ll be like, ‘Girl, you know that broccoli is gonna make you big and strong, right?’ They’re like, ‘Yes, ma’am!’ And they pick it up and eat it.” 

Takkies opts for fresh, hearty salads most of the time, as well as smoothies and oats with fruit and seeds. She eats three main meals a day and snacks throughout. “I try to avoid processed foods, dairy, meat and anything too oily as my body struggles to keep it in,” she says. On the other hand, a veggie-focused diet has worked wonders for the dancer. “Being plant-based makes me feel energised, healthy, and so good,” she concludes. “My energy definitely comes from food and working out. It’s the perfect duo to get my day going first thing in the morning.”

Women's Health November December Issue-Takkies Dinwiddy

All about *that* body 

After having two kids, a woman’s body changes. But Takkies is proud, most of all, about what her body can do. “I love my body!” she exclaims. With those abs and legs, it would be easy for any of us to say. But Takkies recognises where her body has shifted. “Now, my body is a grown mom bod, if there’s such a thing,” she muses. “A lot of people come to me like, ‘Oh my gosh, your body is so fit after two kids!’

But for me, I know my body before — and now it’s completely different. So, I’m in a beautiful mom-bod era with my body and it’s still obviously fit — I mean, obviously things have dropped. My boobs are saggier than before and smaller than before. My butt is different, you know, there’s just so many changes. I’ve got a few stretch marks on my belly button. And I think the younger version of me would be panicking.” 

But this version of Takkies, the one that’s grown and learned so much, through death, moving countries and raising daughters? This new version is embracing it all. “The person I am today is like ‘Girl, rock your body; it is beautiful! I look at it from a sense of, I have two beautiful girls, and I’m still standing and I’m still fit and strong. So, there’s so much to appreciate about my body,” she says. 

Michelle October

Michelle is the features editor at WH. She’s immensely curious about the world, passionate about health and wellness and enjoys a good surf when the waves are good. Find her on Instagram here.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This