Twerk Queen

Tia-Maria "Tinze" Sokka

story

Teemu Heljo

This is a story about a girl who truly believed in her vision and made her dreams come true. Tia-Maria has done what the Millennials dream about. Do what you love for a living.

twerkQueen1 Tia-Maria ready for the weekend tour with the rap duo JVG

Twerk Queen Tia-Maria Sokka is not in her position by chance. She has been working all her life to succeed. By doing gymnastics, waltz and tango earlier in her life she has developed a sense of rhythm in her bloodstream.

twerkQueen2

Sometimes if you feel little doubtful, make-up and hair can make a huge difference. Badass hair makes you feel great on stage.

At the age of fifteen Tia-Maria fell in love with the smooth and rhythmic dance form called reggaeton. The music one could dance with an attitude truly inspired her. You didn’t have to kowtow at all. It was all about throwing yourself in and giving everything you got.

twerkQueen3 Dancers especially in Finland have used to dance traditional dance forms like ballet and hip hop. There’s nothing wrong with those but they weren’t the ones for Tia-Maria. She loves to shock the world and that’s why Tia-Maria is more into dance forms focused on pelvic area like reggaeton and twerk. She really doesn’t care what people think of her. The only thing what matters is her family. It’s important to know that they stand behind her on hard choices.

twerkQueen4 For a long time twerk was only known in African-American culture. In the Early 90’s twerk was often seen in hip hop music videos when girls shook their butts in front of the camera. You couldn’t really say if it was a dance form or not. It was just a way they expressed themselves to the rhythm of the music.

twerkQueen5 Competition called 'Twerk Hki' was held in 2014. Tia-Maria wasn’t familiar with twerk but she knew how to shake her butt and decided to participate. Unexpectedly she got second in the competition and almost straight away started to teach twerking. She was working at a children’s home in Tampere at the time and twerk wasn’t something she thought to do full time. However the demand grew rapidly and she started to teach more and more.

twerkQueen6 It was all sealed after she won the first ever twerk Finnish Championships in 2015. She started to promote herself as “Twerk With Tinze” and finally quitted her day job two years ago to become a full time twerk artist. Tia-Maria feels like she got lucky and was in the right place at the right time. On the other hand there are countless hours of hard work behind every success story...

twerkQueen7 Tia-Maria started to promote twerking as a fun sport which raises your self-confidence. She has also studied sexual counseling and so understands the importance of women’s self-confidence.

Twerk glorifies femininity in a good way and makes the world accept us as we are.

Slowly, twerking is becoming a legit dance form and the thousands of girls and boys seeing how self-confident and energetic Tia is can identify with her.

When you respect yourself and open your eyes to the world the change can be huge.

twerkQueen8 For a long time twerk was considered the forbidden fruit in dance schools. It was hard work to convince all the old teachers that twerk was here to stay. Now a few years later you can go to a twerk class in almost every dance school in Finland. Tia-Maria has really spread the word of “butt sport” and slowly it has gained a small part in our culture. She started her own Tinze Twerk Studio last fall and it has been a success. There were 85 beginners on the opening day of spring semester.

twerkQueen9 Social media has had a huge effect on Tia's career. Instagram started booming around the same time when she started promoting twerking. It was easy way to spread the word and show everyone how fun twerking can be. "You don’t need a huge marketing budget to get your hype on. The more you create content the more you’ll get job offers." That’s something Tia-Maria soon figured out.

twerkQueen10 Over 150 000 followers around the world see Tia-Maria's daily routines on Instagram. Although she would really want to show women how to be a stronger person, 67% of her followers are men.

twerkQueen11 Tia-Maria went to an audition in the spring of 2016. JVG, the number one rap duo in Finland, was looking for new dancers to their shows. There was fifty participants and Tia-Maria was one of the ten dancers they chose that day. The first gig was huge for them. Twelve thousand people in the audience made Tia super nervous. The adrenaline rush she experienced was something totally new. Regardless, all the dancers performed like true professionals and the band was happy.

twerkQueen12 JVG asked four girls to join their summer tour in 2017. Once again Tia-Maria was on board. The dancers followed their tour for the whole summer all over Finland. Over thirty gigs in different cities made the crew really close.

twerkQueen13 twerkQueen14 Tia-Maria's career has still just begun but she has reached a lot in the past years. She has been riding in the forefront of the Twerk wave and helped to make it popular in Finland. From rejection to mainstream. Believe in yourself and everything is possible.