Dance is a way of life for almost everyone in Nigeria and major parts of Africa.
Nigerians can be very attached to dance moves because it’s actually a stress reliever. It’s one of the few things that keep us happy most times we’re emotionally down.
Below are all the dance steps we’ve passed through from the era of the fake Michael Jacksons:
1. Break Dance
Break dance also called B-Boying was that dance every cool kid knew how to do back then. It was the Michael Jackson traditional dance and with the advent of P-Square, Nigerians embraced this more. It is typically danced to hip-hop, funk music, and especially break-beats, although modern trends allow for much wider varieties of music along certain ranges of tempo and beat patterns.
Makossa came in the late 90s and trust Nigerians to always represent. Makossa means ‘dance’ in Douala in Cameroon and we brought it home and made it ours. Every birthday you went for then had either Koffi Olomide or Awilo Longomba playing via speakers. It had to do with a lot of waist whines and all sort of hip movement.
The Galala Dance was highly associated with the ghetto to the point it became the official Ghetto community dance. It was invented by Nigerians who were offspring of the ghetto such as Daddy Showkey, Baba Fryo and African China.
The suo dance was one Nigeran dance that made waves across the country. It’s close relations with Galala and ignited by Nigerian musicians like Danfo Drivers (Mad Melon and Mountain Black), Marvelous Benjy amongst others. A typical suo dance involves the lowering of the waist and the pulling and stretching hand movement as may be likened to someone about to start a generator.
“Eyin awon boys, karma karzee on a kentro level” Yahooze dance moves hit the stage and made its waves, this was after the release of a song of the same name by Olu Maintain. The dance virtually contains a lot of hand movements (pointing up with style) while the feet was either stationary or is just merely tapping on the floor.
Alanta waltzed in and got everyone in the mood. The hand and leg movements produce a crazy spectacle. The Alanta dance craze was helped popularized by Nigerian musicians like Artquake, Terry G. Let’s not forget the weird tongue movements that accompanied the raising up of legs and hands.
Azonto took the storm since the latter end of 2011. This one is from Ghana and is an expressive and communicative dance that lets you mime what you may have in mind while the music is going on. Azonto lets you be free and be creative as you create your own dance step. It is a leg and finger kinda dance and is seen in songs by Fuse ODG, Wizkid etc.
Alingo dance was made popular by twin duo, P-Square in their song titled ‘Alingo’. The dance is a fast one, and demands much more energy. It is a dancer’s delight absolutely because it shows expertise.
Etighi came into the limelight when Iyanya released his song ‘Kukere’. It is actually a traditional dance rom the Calabar/Akwa Ibom part of Nigeria. It involves the hips being carried up and alternated in left and right direction. It also can be mixed with azonto as you can have the hips up and the hands doing the azonto.
‘Skelewu’ was introduced by Davido and involves the five fingers stretched forward while the waist has it’s own dance of its own. It comes from his song which has the same name.
Shoki might just be the queen of all other dance steps in the country. It waltzed in sometime in 2014 when Lil Kesh released his single to the song. There are a lot of body movements associated which includes covering of the eye as well as hands and shoulder movements.
12. Shakiti Bobo
Shakiti Bobo came in with Olamide’s hit single to the song. It came with a whole new style and swag as enthusiastic Nigerians were eager to learn. For this dance, the legs had to be moved to knee length and the hands working in sync with the shoulders. Quite stressful, but it’s simply unique.
Following closely on the heels of Iyanya’s Kukere/Etighi success, was the Sekem from comedian-turned-musician, MC Galaxy. It appears more Nigerian artistes decided to try the same formula of having a dance to go with your song. And this one was simple and fun, all you had to do was shuffle across the floor with one hand on your chest and the other on your waist.
14. Dab dance style and move
The dab has its origins in the Atlanta hip-hop scene, but there was initially disagreement about who originated the dance. Artists initially mentioned as possible originators include Migos (as in “Look at MyDab”), Skippa Da Flippa, Peewee Longway, Jose Guapo and Rich The Kid.
Which of these dance steps do you like most?