EVOLUTION OF NIGERIAN DANCE

There is something about music that always instinctively calls for dance to accompany it, in Nigeria is no different we will look at its evolution through the years and the songs that exposed them and also the artists.

Makossa

Can’t be said to be the earliest form of music in Nigeria but one of the first since the turn of the millennium, with the origins not even considered to be Nigeria. Makossa which literally means “dance” in Cameroon stormed Nigeria and took over from the late 1990s towards the early 2000s, with front runners like Awilo Longoba and Koffi leading the charge. It was so big it was hard to see anything other dance topping it but like every other dance, it eventually phased out.

 

Galala

The “street” has always been the main producer of dance steps in Nigeria and this was one of its first gift to Nigerians, it could be said to be made popular my “Daddy Showkey” because he always incorporated it into his videos, although many argued that it long been in “Ajegunle” a ghetto like area of Nigeria, that is was just given exposure by Artist like Daddy Showkey, Blacky through music.

 

Suo

Another of the dance that came from the “street”, funny as it seems this has little or no similarities to the Galala despite coming immediately after. It was brought into the music industry by the eccentric Marvellous Benji and the music group Danfo Drivers. Danfo Drivers really propagated the spread of Suo because it was ingrained in most of their lyrics at the time.

 

Yahoozee

Many say that this is by far the easiest to dance due to the fact it does not require a lot of legwork, just timely movement of both hands in an upward manner. Olu Maintain is the father of Yahoozee with his hit single “yahoozee”. Other artists that promoted this dance include Kelly Hansome. The dance was a subject of controversies with claims that it was somehow a dance that was set to promote internet fraud and other illegal activities, which was duly denied by most artists.

 

Alanta

Words cannot describe this dance, when danced to its fullness, can be described as insanity. It is danced with all part of the body while making funny faces that brings the funny part of it.

It was only expected that the main alanta King was no other than the man that labeled himself a “mad man” and with songs like “free madness”. Other artists that staked claim to this dance ware the likes of Artquake and Timaya. Alanta was really a crazy kind of dance but nevertheless a great one.

 

Azonto

In 2012, Nigeria decided to go to the neighboring country to import a type of Dance called Azonto, to be very honest this dance took the whole Africa by storm, and was apparently at the rise of social media which exploded everything. Teenagers and adults were making videos on YouTube by the hour dancing to Azonto. It found its way to the Nigeria scene, funny enough a lot of people seem to think it originated from Nigeria; with American Superstar Chris Brown caught saying “let me show you a dance I learned from Nigeria” that caused a lot of uproars. Azonto can really to be said to one of the things that made Nigerians really take interest in the Ghanaian music market.

 

Skelewu

A lot of doubt as to if this dance was really accepted by the Nigerian populace, but it was certainly adored by the foreign fan base. Skelewu was simply the makings of Nigerian music star Davido. It didn’t really have the effect as to most dance in the past but all the same, had people dancing.

From the stables of Skelewu came a type of spin-off Sekem by MC galaxy, basically a stylish movement from side to side also short lived.

 

Shoki

The street never fails to produced and this was by far it best product, probably the dance step with the longest lifespan, it was brought into recognition by then YBNL’s rookie sensation Lil Kesh, it required a type of mastery that makes you go low before coming up slowly, all this was done while your hand was out to stretch from your body. Rumour has it that the dance had been underground for a while before Lil Kesh took it from unknown to known.

 

Shakiti Bobo

Still from the YBNL label but this time not from a rookie but by the boss himself Olamide, the dance was parcelled with is famous hit song “bobo”, it requires a sort of slow hop manner, it was really the craze of the town, with many famous celebrities including footballers were making it a part of their celebration routine.

 

Shaku Shaku

Don’t think there is anybody that didn’t try this dance it was simply amazing to behold, the fascinating about this dance is that it was made underground and was brought out by underground artists at the time.

The likes of Slimcase, Mr Real, and Idowest all combined to produce major bangers like “shepeteri” and “Legbegbe” which immediately got people buzzing about Shaku shaku.

 

Zanku

Most recent of all is Zanku, requires good legwork, the full meaning is often said to be (Z)latan (A)beg (N)o (K)ill (U)s, Zlatan being the founder of the dance. It is the dance of the moment but who knows what tomorrow holds.

This is just a list of dance steps that made its mark on Nigerians there were others that maybe didn’t make as much mark in the industry, like Alingo by P-square, many would place it amongst the not so popular, also on that list would be the Dab, very popular in America but failed to have the same effect in Nigeria

Other popular ones but had short life span were the kerewa and etighi, they were simply not unloved but in this climate in which it seems like everybody stays searching their self for the next big dance they were simply brushed aside quickly by the next dance.

 

 

One thing that can be said to have led to the rampant production of new dance is social media and it also seems like the blueprint to give your songs more impact.

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