By Jesse Serwer Photo: Martei Korley
Dance crews have played an undeniably massive role in dancehall music for a while now. No Tek Weh Yuh Self, no “Tek Weh Yuh Self,” no Gully Creepa, no “Gully Creepa.” And so on. But despite the God-like status that Bogle has obtained in the afterlife, his spiritual children have been slow to get their props from the powers in the reggae industry. This is the first year, for instance that the International Reggae and World Music Awards, happening this Sunday at York College in Jamaica, Queens, NYC will include a “Most Outstanding Dance Group” award (among numerous other categories.) The nominees are Dancerz Blvd, Black Blingaz (creators of Tek Wuh Yuh Self), Nabtry International Culture Dancers (In a nod to IRAWMA’s worldly aspirations, they’re actually a group of traditional African dancers and not a Caribbean ting), Fearless Crew and, oddly, “Nuh Linga” creator and Ravers Clavers member Ova-Marz was nominated as an individual.
We can’t claim any knowledge of behind-the-scenes affairs at IRAWMA but LargeUp friend and Dancerz Blvd founder Donnaray Lawrence tells us that the addition of the award is the result of several years of lobbying by her and her counterparts. Either way, NYC-based Dancerz Blvd gets our vote (not that we actually voted). While not quite as visible or influential as their Jamaica-based counterparts, they have made their mark as ambassadors this past year, donating various members to Major Lazer’s raucous live show and launching a series of educational dancehall dance workshops in New York and beyond.
See the nominees for all of IRAWMA’s awards, here
UPDATE (5/3): Dancerz Blvd won the Most Outstanding Dance Group category at last night’s IRAWMA awards.