"Dancehall is Music.
That was my attempt at a poem about Dancehall. Clearly, I need to work o my poetic way of life but until then lets talk about what I do know how to do. Dance!
Growing up in a Caribbean household I believe there are a few things you should know how to do or at least know of.
1.You must know how to Whine. Not Whine as in "girl why you crying and whining" and no I didn't spell it wrong and mean to say wine. I'm not talking about the drink. YOU MUST KNOW HOW TO MOVE YAH WAIST!
2.You must participate in a festival or cultural event. I wouldn't say this is mandatory but I feel like if you didn't jump up in at least 1 Carifest, Caribana or whatever event takes place in your city , then your life is not complete.
That's just two but I'm sure there are tons more. As for me, I came out the womb whining and of my 26 years of life, I can not count how many festival parades I've been a part of. Another thing that maybe not all Caribbean Canadian girls do is be a part of a dance group. I don't think everyone does this but growing up in Calgary majority of us started in Caribbean Singers and Dancers then everyone branched out into their own groups. Mine was Diversity which actually still exist today. (DPACC BOOP BOOP BIG UP YOURSELF)
Dancing was huge when I was growing up but as I got older and I move to Vancouver I kind of stopped going to classes. From performing every weekend to just completely stopping. It sucks, to be honest, so any chance I get I try and take part and show love to the dance community especially when it comes to Dancehall.
Dancehall in Vancouver is strange for me when I got here in 2013 I didn't really know any Caribbean people so I had no idea where to go to find dancehall events or classes all I had was the internet. I went to a few classes which kind of reminded me of Zumba so I never really went back and got turned off by it. The only way I truly got my fix was Youtube and hitting the club and taking over the dance floor (legit Little me 115lbs of pure fire haha trust me! Ask anyone ). Plenty of times I got asked to teach but, never felt right teaching because even though I grew up doing these moves ,steps and style I still didn't feel I was qualified to teach, and I still don't. I got way to much respect for my culture to be spreading my style of steps and calling it Dancehall but that's just me. (Sidenote I did teach a few classes as a sub still it was fun)
On that note, there are tons of people qualified to teach and who are passionate and love the style so when I get the opportunity I try and show some love. This event I went to a few weeks back was so much fun. Hosted by Snapp (Moonrunners crew from Toronto) , A Basement Ting is a Dancehall battle/party that was held for the first time In Vancouver but originally started in Toronto. Being the first in Vancouver it was cool to watch, mainly because the style of dance is new to Vancouver so people are still learning. Boys and Girls entered , from break dancers to krumpers many people from different backgrounds. In the end, the crown went to Alyssa Amarshi (whoop BIG UP YOURSELF) and it was well deserved you could see the passion in her face,body, and soul. All around the event was good vibes!
Here are a few videos of a mini showcase from the Judge of the Event Venom and Judy from Ketch di Vybz. They are teaching all summer long and you can still register to take a class or drop in. For more info, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sending Yall Positive Vibes
*Videos have been removed by request*