Nigeria is a beautiful country of which I am extremely proud to be a citizen of; our diversity is something that makes us colourful and unique. One of the various ways we show this diversity is in our dance and groove; it is something that comes naturally to us.
Sometime in 1998 when the revolution in our music scene started, something that came alongside the music was the dance. If my memory serves me right, it all started from the “ghetto” with dance steps like “Galala“ and “Konto” made popular by musicians like Daddy Showkey and Father U-Turn.
Back then, these dance steps were seen as “razz” by a lot of people, for the few that tried out them dance them out at parties, you were given the “I can’t believe you just did that” look. However razz these moves seemed, they paved way for what came next – “Swo”.
Marvelous Benji taught us this new dance, the lyrics went;
“Attention! Old dance gone,
New dance come…
Oya sing, Galala no dey do dem again
Konto no dey sweet dem again o
Makosa no rule dem again
Swo na dey new dance wey dey reign…”
They ladies and clubs were more welcoming to this dance step, it was not strange or that razz to see people doing “Swo”, it was big but we had no idea what was coming next, and when it did, we were blown away.
Yahozee brought something new. This was made popular by Olu maintain, it was the first time that our dance moves were going “international”. Literally everyone was doing the move, even the former US secretary of state, Collin Powell joined in.
This dance step was different from the rest, it required no squatting or bending like its “predecessors”, it was easy and had a certain kind of “class” to it. It was known as the “big boy” dance, the “ballers” step and we all danced it all through 2006 to early 2008. By this time, everyone was wondering what dance step would follow.
“Alanta” was one dance that was not synonymous to one particular artist, it erupted like a volcano and no one cared where it came from, we just danced. If it had come five or four years earlier would have been seen as razz, but we were at a point in our music industry where razz was the new cool, where we were yearning for things that were truly Nigerian and so Alanta’s introduction was just right. The dance was all over the internet with people from different countries doing the dance, artistes like Terry G and Timaya were known to embrace the style, sound and dance 100 percent. Somewhere there, the dance “kaba kaba” made an attempt but did not really catch on with most of Nigerians and so it died a natural death.
When our West African brothers Ghana brought Azonto, we embraced it and made it our own so much so that people thought the dance was Nigerian. In my opinion, it is one of the most versatile dances of the lot till date. The dance had so much to it, it had various ways to do it and make it your own as long as you stuck to the fundamentals. Unfortunately, Azonto was not allowed to take centre stage for very long, it had to share because another dance was already making head way.
Iyanya brought this dance from Cross Rivers to our attention with his monster hit Kukere. Etighi was different from the others, this was the first time we were having a dance step that was more from the waist down with little support from the shoulder and boy did we rock it. Next to follow was Skelewu made popular by Davido. It is important to note that these three dance steps Azonto, Etighi and Skelewu all came in a space of a little over a year and are still very much being danced. In the past, a dance step usually reigned for almost two years if not more but now, it seems like dance moves are being unleashed every quarter.
The dance that seems to be the next big thing is “Sekem” a dance brought to our attention by Mc Galaxy. The song says it all;
“Open your leg
One hand for your waist
One hand for your chest
Oya do the sekem…”
Yes, Sekem seems to be the new dance so get with the program and start sliding on the dance floor until some new dance comes up which I am guessing would not be very long going by the recent trend.
Now the shoki has shown up courtesy, Lil Kesh, Olamide’s protégé.
Presently, we’re stuck between the wiggle and the shakiti bobo! Only God knows what’s coming next, in the meantime,
Keep dancing people!