At the Dance Workshop 2017 organized by Nigeria’s pioneer female hip-hop dancer and World Guinness Record holder, Kaffy, dancers were tasked to project their profession as a serious and career-driven business.
The celebrity studded event featured personalities like Kaffy, Daddy Showkey, Basorge Tariah Jnr., Ice Nweke, and T.Y Mix, whose careers largely began with dance before taking a turn into the music and entertainment industry.
Discounting external obstacles such as society’s perspective of dance, dancers were re-oriented to respect and place value on their craft in order to earn the respect of the society and corporate world.
Kaffy who spoke at the event, told the dancers that talent is never enough to excel, rather attitude, diligence, and loyalty. She further cautioned dancers not to be in a hurry to lead, but to first serve, and while serving find their purpose to contribute positively to dance.
Commending Kaffy’s grit and devotion to the growth of dance in Nigeria, singer Daddy Showkey, who began his artistic career as a traditional dancer in the 80s, reminisced of the early days when dance was the ultimate form of artistic expression. “I don’t know when we lost that dance culture, but my presence is to find out why and to promote dance”.
Ex-dancer, grandmaster and B.A holder in Choreography, Basorge Tariah Jnr., sought the elevation of dance discuss in Nigeria, emphasized the need for dancers to obtain a formal education in dance, to deepen their understanding of the history, genres and the preservation of Nigerian dances. He further called on dancers to support leaders like Kaffy devoted to elevate dance in Nigeria.
Addressing the consequences arising from the unprofessional attitudes displayed by dancers including willingness to be underpriced for shows, a disinterest in obtaining a formal education in dance, and the rush for regular casting, upcoming dancers Adila Omotosho and Bukunmi Olukitibi advised dancers to prioritize uniqueness and smart work.
“A dancer must strive to do what other dancers cannot do,” says dancer and dance instructor, Omotosho who majored in acrobatics.
“Staying busy does not necessarily equate to value or success,” Olukitibi interjected. “Dancers must work smart, and understand that there are other aspects of dance to make an impact in the sector.”
Addressing the uneasiness that comes with new leadership, both dancers encouraged their peers to have faith in the revamped Guild Of Nigerian Dancers (GOND), as such changes are relevant to effecting the change sought in the dance industry.
Meantime, over 10 dancers were selected at the event to participate in the video dance session to be facilitated by Hollywood choreographer, Ramas Antonio Jose, in Lagos on the 9th and 10th of June in Lagos. More dancers will be selected from similar workshops in Ibadan, Ghana and Lagos to the first ten.
Jose has choreographed US music acts such as Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna.
Managing Director Imagento Studios, Bimbo Shafau, said the session is aimed at encouraging dancers via providing opportunities to further their career. “You never know what opportunities awaits dancers once they are involved in a video that’s gone viral.”