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AFRICAN DANCE FORMS AND ORIGINS

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

Dance has always been a necessary part of life in Africa societies. Many artist have mastered the art of creating dance moves that capture the attention of their audience and create a lively atmosphere. This article is to bring alive the joy and excitement these great artists as imbibe into their pattern of music and refresh our memories of the magnificent dance steps Africa countries has produced and are still invoke in our world today.



SHAKU SHAKU


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR6L-uFPuw9-I5xmgsDU2-

Nigeria artists are known with an incredible dance steps to brace up their music. This dance steps was created in 2017 by the most popular artist Olamide also known as Badoo. The shaku shaku dance steps is a street dance meant for the streets guys.


It is done by stretching out the arm and crossing them over each other in front with the legs widened out and launching into a graceful half-galloping. The rest routine in the dance is more of a freestyle. The dance has even been tagged as the Nigerian Gangster style. Although the dance is credited to Olamide, the truth is that he is not the inventor of the dance. But he played the major role in the crossing over of the dance to the mainstream media.

After months of trending beneath the surface, Olamide who has a reputation for bringing the street into the mainstream media used Shahku Shaku dancers in the video of his hit song “Wo”. The dance started to become popular. But the main breakthrough of Shaku Shaku by Olamide came after the fourth edition of his annual Olamide Live in Concert (OLIC 4) show. Instead of holding the concert at the popular Eko Hotel convention centre, he held the show on the mainland at the Teslim Balogun Stadium. The concert showcased some of the best street records of 2017 by artists like Dj Real, Slimcase, Dj Enimoney with the dance showcased in front of more than ten thousand people.




GWARA GWARA



https://youtu.be/exLc0HjDhzY


Gwara gwara is performed by rolling and swinging the arm and the elbow in terms of making a circle, and one of the leg moves in connection with the arm's rhythm. It has some similarities to the Stanky Leg. Gwara gwara was made famous by South African musician Babes Wodumo. The dance move created by disc jockey and producer DJ Bongz, was heavily imitated by South Africans and other African people mainly during 2016. It also received widespread globally as the choreography was adopted by notable musicians: Rihanna performed the dance move while performing Wild Thought at the 60yh Annual Grammy Award in 2018. Childish Gambino performed the dance in the video of his song "This is America."




AMAPIANO



https://youtu.be/1mXznA8o-HI


Although the genre gained popularity in Kathehong the township East of Johannesburg, there's a lot of ambiguity concerning its origins, with various accounts of the musical styles in the Johannesburg townships Soweto, Alexandra, Vosloorus and Kathehong. Because of the genre's similarities with Bacardi, some people assert the genre began in Pretoria and has been an on going debate about the origin of Amapiano.


Various accounts as to who formed the popular genre make it impossible to accurately pinpoint its origins. Amapiano (Zulu for "the Piano") is a style of fire music that emerged in South Africa in 2012. Amapiano is a hybrid of deep house, jazz and lounge music characterized by synths, airy pads and wide percussive basslines.It is distinguished by high-pitched piano melodies, Kwaito basslines, low tempo 90s South African house rhythms and percussions from another local subgenre of the house known as Bacardi.




JERUSALEMA DANCE CHALLENGE


https://youtu.be/exc_ucoeDf4


February the Angolan dance troupe Fenómenos do Semba created the viral #JerusalemaDanceChallenge video that showed off their dance moves to the South African hit song Jerusalem. Their video is set in a backyard in Luanda, where they break into a group dance, all the while eating lunch from plates in their hands. the #JerusalemaDanceChallenge video generated a counter-contagion. Almost overnight everyone from police departments in Africa to priests in Europe were posting their own Jerusalema dance videos that repeated the choreography. The challenge videos were swept along in a message of hope condensed in the single word “Jerusalem” and amplified through an electronic beat that its creator, Johannesburg-based musician, and producer Master KG, describes as “Spiritual".




AZONTO


https://youtu.be/jm3Z5K6ftWs


Azonto was formerly known as 'Apaa' in these communities. The Apaa dance, hence the Azonto dance, involves a set of hand movements that either mimic everyday activities especially ones concerning people's livelihoods, or moves that are meant to amuse an audience.


It began with one- or two-step movements but has been advanced to more complex and almost acrobatic movements. Just like most African dances, Azonto involves knee bending and hip movements. The dance has effectively evolved from a few basic moves to miming actions such as ironing clothes, washing, driving, boxing, praying, swimming, and others. The widespread popularity of Azonto highlights the presence of social mobility within Ghanaians, and to an extent, the greater African culture. Following the worldwide interest in Ghana's Azonto dance, and the name of Azonto itself being used for a variety of entertaining activities, such as Azonto Petroleum, the Azonto Ghana Commission was created to organize Ghana's most populous arts and entertainment (Azonto) and also use the Commission as a department to support groups or individuals using the Azonto dance and another form to promote Ghana, peace, and unity among people from all walks of life.NDOMBOLO DANCE




NDOMBOLO DANCE


https://youtu.be/uDTnhC8Y6ZI


Ndombolo is a Congolese music genre and dance style, also popular in other African countries such as Kenya and Madagascar. It is derived from kwassa kwassa. This style of fast music, currently dominating dance floors in central, eastern and western Africa, is performed by Dany Engobo, Awilo Longomba, Aurlus Mabele, Koffi Olomide and groups like Extra Musica and Wenge Musica, among others. The hip-swinging dance to the fast pace of soukous ndombolo has come under criticism on claims that it is obscene. There have been attempts to ban it in Mali, Cameroon and Kenya. After an attempt to ban it from state radio and television in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2000, it became even more popular. In February 2005, ndombolo music videos in the DR Congo were censored for indecency, and video clips by Koffi Olomide, JB M'Piana, and Werrason were banned from airwaves.


when it comes to dance steps be rest assure that you can always get the best from Africa, because their artists are never behind. What's your own favourite dance steps, share with us today.


















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