,From mainstream music to choreography in the latest videos ,Dancehall has become on huge influence on mainstream culture within the last few years. For me I've always noticed it because I grew up around it and have always been listening to Dancehall or Dancehall influenced genres such as Reggaeton and Grime.
Dance was a huge part of my life growing up and I've been influenced by so many people. With Youtube being so big now its so easy to watch amazing dancers from around the world. I wanted to share some of my favorite dancers with you for my Rude Gal/Boi Series and since We are talking about Jamaica I thought it would be best to start with some of my favorite dancers in Dancehall.
This week's Rude Boy is Blacka Di Danca. Im not sure how I originally came across his videos but he's amazing. He has worked with Major artist and Companies from around the world and has recently launched a Charity in Jamaica called Little Danca which provides an opportunity for Youth and Dancers in Jamaica. You can find more information about the program here
Check out our interview below.
1.Let's start from the beginning. When were you first introduced to dance, and more specifically Dancehall?
Growing up in a West Indian household in Brooklyn, New York, it’s impossible not to be around dance or dancehall music. I’ve been around dancehall all of my life and I’ve grown up listening to dancehall and around dancehall artists since birth. I started going to the clubs to learn it and became aware of the beauty of specific dancehall steps since around 2002/2003.
New York is a melting pot of so many cultures and Caribbean culture being a major one. Do you ever find your self-pulling from other cultures as well for inspiration?
Every West Indian culture is influenced by other West Indian cultures and world cultures. Speaking specifically about Jamaica, “Out of many, one people” is example enough that a culture exists solely in one place but has many influences that make it beautiful and distinct.
When you first started who were or are your main influences as a dancer.
When I first started I was influenced by almost every talented and creative dancer that I saw, but one of my main idols and influences amongst the years is a dancer named Ninja White from White Out Gang. Ninja’s energy, flow, and creativity have had the most influence on the way that I dance.
You've had the opportunity to work with different people and companies such as Red Bull and Major Lazer. You also have your own thing going on with your Danca Family. So what has been some of your favorite moments throughout your journey?
My journey has been long and blessed with many different opportunities and many favorite moments. One of my most favorite and memorable moments was having the chance to not only perform at Madison Square Garden but to perform on New Year’s Eve as the ball dropped with Diplo, Skrillex, and Kiesza! Being a Brooklyn native, and more importantly, a New Yorker, Madison Square Garden is the biggest accomplishment and entertainer can achieve in New York City. To dance in front of 20,000 people in the world’s most famous arena is as amazing as it could get!
Looking at you Instagram you can tell you get to travel the world doing what you love. Has there been a place where you've been where you were extremely surprised that there are even a Dancehall dance lovers there?
Yes, I travel a lot for a living and luckily it’s just to do what I love. My most surprising trip overseas was actually my first trip in 2011 to Moscow, Russia. It was my first overseas booking, and when I arrived in Moscow, everybody knew all of the newest Dancehall moves!
What does Dancehall mean to you?
Dancehall to me is everything. Life, love, happiness, sadness, pain, anger, expression, beauty, faith, hope – it’s a way of life! You have to live it and embody it to understand it!
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
I just always plan on taking Dancehall culture and West Indian culture consistently to the next level.
Be sure to follow Blacka on the following social media platforms