Five lessons in living your best life with Tarryn Alberts

Words: Oratile Mashazi | Photographs: Andile Phewa

It's Tarryn’s time. TNT a.k.a BoomBoom has arrived, and if you didn’t know, you’re about to be schooled. As the latest Nike South Africa ambassador, Tarryn Alberts' face beams over Braamfontein everyday. She also looks over Rosebank on an enormous billboard beside another queen – Caster Semenya. Tarryn's up there because she's one of our nation’s most eminent dancers, and as the influence of urban culture, excellence and artistry converge, she has come to show us how to be the best at what we do, while being ourselves. So open your mind, and prepare yourself for some lessons in living your best life from BoomBoom herself.

Be comfortable in your skin

Although she has performed on every major stage this country has to offer entertainment, and with so many incredible shows internationally, Tarryn still reps her home 'Eldos' to the death. So when I ask the professional dancer where her favourite place to dance is, she responds without missing a beat:

“A street bash in my hood, Eldorado Park.”

In an age of identity proliferation, where so many are trying to find and articulate what it means to be young, female and of colour, confusion and mistrust reign. Particularly in our post-Apartheid dispensation where we are interrogating the messed up identities that we have inherited. Tarryn’s visibility as a black womxn with tattoos and major talent flips the script on those feminine ideals that we have been sold. It also flips the script on what sexy is, because she is strong and self-actualized and will not be defined by some fictional beauty standards, and that's because she is BoomBoom beautiful and real.

“I’m Tarryn, the T sounds like a D and I roll my r’s hard, but that’s me, and being real is being able to love others because you appreciate their humanity and your own.”

Tarryn speaks from a place of authenticity about who she is, how she speaks and where she’s from. We are all born unique and while the world may try to make us conform, our individuality is what makes us who we are, and is something to nurture and be proud of.

Fight for your passion

Anything worth having is going to take effort – that's blood, sweat and tears. Tarryn is an athlete. Her life is all about using her body to tell stories, entertain and sometimes she finds herself rehearsing rigorously, for insane hours, to put on a show. But she kills it, always, and with that dedication and discipline, she is going to run tings in 2017 with many dropping her name.

“I can’t say much, but BoomBoom is going H.A.M this year, dropping videos, campaigns, shows and training.”

Through her determination, consistency and individualism, Tarryn has carved a niche of being creative and athletic, making way for so many more to follow. And while she makes it look so easy, the fact is that she’s been dancing since she was four-years-old, spending up to 10 hours each day perfecting her craft. Her work with the V.I.N.T.A.G.E Cru is iconic and comes from a deep passion for performance. She has opened for Kendrick Lamar, performed at the SAMA’s, the MAMA’s and can still be found putting in the hours at her studio or in the gym. The love for her work is what drives Tarryn and it's this fire that ensures she gets back on it and continues to strive for bigger and better things.

Success is a combination of hard work and great networks

Tarryn has been touring the world with Die Antwoord since 2013. So how did the short haired sister from Eldos end up sharing a stage with Ninja and Yolandi and even sharing smoke breaks with 2Chainz?

“I met Die Antwoord in 2012, when they needed dancers for their ‘Fatty Boom Boom’ music video. Manthe was the plug because she hooked up the whole audition for us and when they saw us dance they were mad impressed and the rest is history.”

Celebrate your victories

One of my best nights in Jozi had the club going up at Trap Tuesdays with Tarryn, Sine, Anita and Lebo. It was LIT with BoomBoom onto one win after another, coming through and balling hard on the homies. The evening was dreamy and exhilarating. The power of dance is contagious. Tarryn’s presence had the entire club hyped, as we twerked and dabbed until the lights came on.

It felt like dreams coming true, and Tarryn righteously celebrated by doing what she loves most – dancing and spreading her explosive energy. When I ask her about her favourite shows to have performed at, she mentions her first overseas show with Die Antwoord at Pukkelpop, a music festival in Belgium.

“DUUUUUUUDE! My life, my craft and who I was was never the same! I fell in love with dance even more that day!”

Share the love

We all have something to offer the world, and our young ones need guidance and mentoring, especially in the arts as we continue to build this country’s creative and entertainment industry. Tarryn’s talent and influence can only expand as she pushes her own career forward, determined to have a positive impact through sharing her experience and skills.

“This year I'll be doing workshops at schools in the hood where I grew up. I've always had a passion for working with children, and this is something I used to do, but now that I've grown so much I want to go back and give back!”

A humble soul radiates from this stunning person, and the future is bright as she sets the world’s stages alight.