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Martin Gratton | Canada | Embrace Yourself & Trust You!

Hip-Hop & Commercial Dancer | Choreographer | Content Creator

So, where did it all start? In Cantley, Quebec and then in Toronto in Canada. Growing up, my cousins and I loved to recreate Rihanna’s music videos such as Hard, Rude Boy and Shut Up and Drive. We’d pretend we were on stage and created performances and plays to show our parents. Afterward, my mom put me in dance classes, which I fell in love with, and which changed my life.

I pride myself on my authenticity, and I feel there are a number of factors as to why my dance videos are so popular, including the diversity I bring to my performance. People say that my performances make them feel safe and happy. I think it also has to do with my different casting that shows people that you can be different and still embrace it and be successful, I am a dancer with many tattoos, showing that diversity is not a curse but a blessing. The thing is that I have huge goals ahead—I have already earned both Best Dancer and Best Choreography awards, and I have also been a content creator for Tiktok Canada Influencer Team, along with doing major collaborations with A-list dancers/choreographers. High-reaching I plan to be working on the biggest sets and stages in North America. I visualize myself dancing on and doing choreography for national and world tours, I like having a tunnel vision for my goals and focusing on precise things.

Already on my way, with over a million followers on Tiktok. My joyous and fun video clips have gone viral on social media platforms: my top three dance videos have earned almost 70 million, 50 million and 25 million views each on Instagram. Thankfully, my gift and artistry has gotten me working with major Canadian music and performance artists. I worked for prominent Canadian artists such as rIVerse, Maurice Moore and Mélissa Vales. I worked on a full concert set for rIVerse and participated in their biggest music video so far. I also did multiple live shows besides Tynomi Banks, a drag queen from RuPaul's Drag Race Canada.

As for what makes me unique. I am a powerful dancer. I like to execute sharps and clean movements and I dance with intensity. Since I was young, I have trained with competitive teams, so therefore my dancing can appear more intense to some people. In competitive teams, we are prepared to perform and be clean dancers, which is what I've become. It is something that helped me to make my way in the industry as being clean is a key element to commercial dancers.

In conclusion, I’ve now been dancing for over 15 years. I started at a young age without a big goal, but I genuinely had an inner passion for it. And dance brought me a certain fulfilling feeling that I had never experienced before and it’s now my lifestyle. I visualize being on those international stages and my perseverance will take me there.

What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?

Growing up, I must admit, I was trying to be someone else to please others and to fit society's mold. The second I started to love, appreciate, and take care of myself the way I honestly should have from the beginning, is when everything started to flow. For me, being unique is literally the definition of perfect. Sometimes, this entertainment industry can knock down your self-esteem but always stay true to the person you are and never let anyone, no matter the social status, make you doubt that. But I love the community behind the dance scene. It is full of open-minded beings that are willing and ready to share together. The community is also why I chose dance as a career.

Your advice to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?

Authenticity and happiness are a part of who I am and something I will never change. It is important to stay who you are and be authentic no matter where you’re heading or doing in collaboration. I believe that dance can change the world by showing vulnerability and passion, and that is my goal. To inspire people, stay true to yourself, because everyone is so unique and perfect, so embrace yourself and trust you. It’ll bring you what you truly need or want. I can proudly claim, I know I will have a big imprint in the art industry.

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