Words by Emily Shapiro
Dancehall’s unique dancing culture still breathes in clubs and bashments everywhere, with party steps being developed on what seems like a weekly basis. But some might argue that the scene has lost some of the flavor from the days of Mr. Bogle and the Wacky Dip.
Where dancehall is definitely thriving, is in the classrooms. Dancehall dancing has taken on new life outside the walls (and fences) of Jamaican parties, and is now being taught in studios worldwide. Across Europe, the States and Asia, choreographers are coming out of the woodwork, representing for dancehall and fighting for it to be considered an artform. Jamaica’s own dancers have come together to create DanceJA Skool, a studio where dancehall is front and center.
Next weekend on June 22 and 23, Tavia and Tamara, New York-based choreographers (and dancers for Sean Paul and Rihanna, to name a few) and creators of Brukwine, a reggae heels dance/workout class, continue the push to legitimize dancehall with the first Do Sumn’ Weekend Intensive, at Broadway Dance Center in Manhattan. The workshop is bringing talent from France, Jamaica, Canada and New York together for two days of classes at one of the most important professional dance studios in the world. The roster includes Laure Courtellemont, Camron One-Shot and Lil’ Gbb of France; Toronto’s Jae Blaze; Jamaica’s Orville Expressionz; and Tavia and Tamara themselves. As you would expect, spots are filling up quick! Check out the promo video below and prepare to get hype.
There will be live music by our friends DJ Autograph and Hanna Herbertson and we’re guessing the whole thing is going to be bursting with good vibes. If you’re interesting in learning some old-school and new-school steps and/or improving your craft as a dancer, this is not to be missed.
Dancehall to di werlllll!
If you can’t make it but you want to hit up some other classes, head to their Facebook page for details about Brukwine and other dancehall classes.