Dance returns to Dancehall Image

by Darynel Beckford

The birth of Dancehall inspired a change from the easy skanking of the Reggae genre, in some sects of society, to a more stylized way of dancing, with complex movements coupled with adorable names.

Traditionally, as the name suggests, dancehall focuses on dancing. These dances are, as mentioned before, rather complex and go against the usual ‘lightness’ of more classic dance forms and requires great energy and ‘vibe’. Dancehall dance mogul, Bogle, brought this to the fore with dances such as Willy Bounce but was most popularly known for the “Bogle dance” which is using your body to create a wave like motion. However, after Gerald ‘Bogle’ Levy’s death, there was a noted decline in the dominance of the dance element within the dancehall. We can assume the love somewhat died with him as it was replaced with lyrics surrounding gun culture.

However, of recent, there has been a spark within the industry, with artistes and choreographers that have purposefully made it their point of duty to bring a fresh face back to dancehall. Ding Dong, Jamaica’s new age Bogle has been making strides in the industry along with his dance troop ‘Ravers Clavaz’, with dance moves such as Syvah, Gas, Fling and their most recent Flairy. Dancehall royalty Spice, who went through a recent state of rebranding, has also been making big moves, literally. With dances such as Robot Whine, Sticky Wine and Indicator, Spice and her dancers have made meaningful contributions to the industry of late.

Worthy of mention also is the increased presence of choreographers and dancers like, Kimiko ‘Versatile’ Miller, Amanyea Stines, Tara 'Tehrebel' Price and many others. Their continued effort to improve their craft and share this small but meaningful part of our culture has affected the industry tremendously. With exposure from artists such as Cardi B and other major projects, these talented individuals must be praised.

You can view a short documentary on Dancehall and dance below:

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